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Coordenadas : 47 ° N 2 ° E / 47°N 2°E / 47; 2

República francesa

République française  ( francês ) [1]
Lema:  " Liberté, égalité, fraternité "
"Liberdade, Igualdade, Fraternidade"
Hino:  " La Marseillaise "
EU-France (orthographic projection).svg
EU-France.svg
France in the World (+Antarctica claims).svg
Localização da  França  (verde escuro)

- na Europa  (verde e cinza escuro)
- na União Europeia  (verde)

Capital
e a maior cidade
Paris 48 ° 51′N 2 ° 21′E
 / 48.850°N 2.350°E / 48.850; 2.350
Língua oficial
e língua nacional
Francês [I]
Nacionalidade (2018)
Religião
(2020)
Demônimo (s)francês
Governo República constitucional semi-presidencial unitária
•  Presidente
Emmanuel Macron
Jean Castex
Gérard Larcher
Richard Ferrand
LegislaturaParlamento
Senado
Assembleia Nacional
Estabelecimento
• Reinado de Clovis I como Rei dos Francos
500
Agosto 843
22 de setembro de 1792
•  Fundou a CEE [III]
1 de janeiro de 1958
4 de outubro de 1958
Área
• Total
640.679 km 2 (247.368 sq mi) [4] ( 42º )
• Água (%)
0,86 (a partir de 2015) [5]
551.695 km 2 (213.011 sq mi) [V] ( 50º )
• França Metropolitana ( Cadastro )
543.940,9 km 2 (210.016,8 mi quadrados) [VI] [6] ( 50º )
População
• Estimativa de maio de 2021
Neutral increase67.413.000 [7] ( 20º )
• Densidade
104,7109 / km 2 ( 106 )
• França metropolitana, estimativa em maio de 2021
Neutral increase65.239.000 [8] ( 23º )
• Densidade
116 / km 2 (300,4 / sq mi) ( 89º )
PIB  ( PPP )Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase$ 3.232 trilhões [9] ( )
• per capita
Increase$ 49.492 [9] ( 25º )
PIB  (nominal)Estimativa de 2021
• Total
Increase$ 2,938 trilhões [9] ( )
• per capita
Increase$ 44.995 [9] ( 24º )
Gini  (2019)Negative increase 29,2 [10]
baixo
HDI  (2019)Increase 0,901 [11]
muito alto  ·  26º
Moeda
Fuso horárioUTC +1 ( Horário da Europa Central )
• Verão ( DST )
UTC +2 ( Horário de verão da Europa Central [X] )
Nota: vários outros fusos horários são observados no exterior da França. [IX]
Embora a França esteja no fuso horário da Europa Ocidental / UTC (Z), desde 25 de fevereiro de 1940, após a ocupação alemã da 2ª Guerra Mundial , a hora da Europa Central / UTC + 01: 00 foi aplicada como hora padrão, [2] com um +0: Deslocamento de 50:39 (e +1: 50: 39 durante o horário de verão ) de Paris LMT (UTC + 0: 09: 21).
Formato de datadd / mm / aaaa ( AD )
Eletricidade principal230 V - 50 Hz
Lado de conduçãodireito
Código de chamada+33 [XI]
Código ISO 3166FR
Internet TLD.fr [XII]
A fonte fornece a área da França metropolitana como 551.500 km 2 (212.900 sq mi) e lista as regiões ultramarinas separadamente, cujas áreas somam 89.179 km 2 (34.432 sq mi). Somando-os, obtém-se o total mostrado aqui para toda a República Francesa. A CIA relata o total como 643.801 km 2 (248.573 sq mi).
Logotipo oficial da República Francesa

A França ( francês:  [fʁɑ̃s] Listen ), oficialmente a República Francesa (francês: République française ), [1] é um país transcontinental que abrange a Europa Ocidental e várias regiões e territórios ultramarinos . [XIII] Sua área metropolitana se estende do Reno ao Oceano Atlântico e do Mar Mediterrâneo ao Canal da Mancha e Mar do Norte ; territórios ultramarinos incluem a Guiana Francesa na América do Sule várias ilhas no Atlântico , Pacífico e indianos oceanos. A França faz fronteira com a Bélgica , Luxemburgo e Alemanha ao nordeste, Suíça , Mônaco e Itália ao leste, Andorra e Espanha ao sul, bem como Holanda , Suriname e Brasil nas Américas. Suas dezoito regiões integrais (cinco das quais são no exterior) abrangem uma área combinada de 643.801 km 2 (248.573 sq mi) e mais de 67 milhões de pessoas (em maio de 2021) [12] A França é uma república semi-presidencial unitária com capital em Paris , a maior cidade do país e principal centro cultural e comercial; outras grandes áreas urbanas incluem Lyon , Marselha , Toulouse , Bordéus , Lille e Nice . Incluindo seus territórios ultramarinos, a França tem doze fusos horários , o maior de qualquer país.

Habitada desde o Paleolítico , a França foi colonizada por tribos celtas conhecidas como gauleses durante a Idade do Ferro . Roma anexou a área em 51 aC, levando a uma cultura galo-romana distinta que lançou as bases da língua francesa . Os francos germânicos chegaram em 476 e formaram o Reino de Francia , que se tornou o coração do Império Carolíngio . O Tratado de Verdun de 843 dividiu o império, com a Francia Ocidental tornando-se o Reino da França em 987.

Na Alta Idade Média , a França era um reino feudal poderoso, mas altamente descentralizado, no qual a autoridade do rei mal era sentida. O rei Filipe Augusto alcançou um sucesso notável no fortalecimento do poder real e na expansão de seu reino, derrotando seus rivais e dobrando seu tamanho . No final de seu reinado, o reino emergiu como o estado mais poderoso da Europa. De meados do século 14 a meados do século 15, a França mergulhou em uma série de conflitos dinásticos pelo trono francês, conhecidos coletivamente como a Guerra dos Cem Anos , e uma identidade francesa distinta emergiu como resultado. A Renascença francesa viu a arte e a cultura florescer,várias guerras com potências rivais e o estabelecimento de um império colonial global , que no século 20 se tornaria o segundo maior do mundo. [13] A segunda metade do século 16 foi dominada por guerras civis religiosas entre católicos e huguenotes que enfraqueceram gravemente o país. Mas a França mais uma vez emergiu como a potência cultural, política e militar dominante da Europa no século 17 sob Luís XIV após a Guerra dos Trinta Anos . [14] Um sistema de tributação inadequado, juntamente com a derrota na Guerra dos Sete Anos e caroenvolvimento na Guerra da Independência americana , deixou o reino em uma situação econômica precária no final do século XVIII. Isso precipitou a Revolução Francesa de 1789, que derrubou a monarquia absoluta , substituiu o Antigo Regime por uma das primeiras repúblicas modernas da história e produziu a Declaração dos Direitos do Homem e do Cidadão , que expressa os ideais da nação até hoje.

A França atingiu seu apogeu político e militar no início do século 19 sob Napoleão Bonaparte , subjugando grande parte da Europa continental e estabelecendo o Primeiro Império Francês . As guerras revolucionárias francesas e napoleônicas moldaram o curso da história europeia e mundial. O colapso do império iniciou um período de declínio relativo, no qual a França sofreu uma tumultuada sucessão de governos até a fundação da Terceira República Francesa durante a Guerra Franco-Prussiana em 1870. As décadas subsequentes viram um período de otimismo, florescimento cultural e científico e a prosperidade econômica conhecida como Belle Époque. A França foi um dos principais participantes da Primeira Guerra Mundial , da qual saiu vitoriosa com grande custo humano e econômico. Estava entre as potências aliadas na Segunda Guerra Mundial , mas logo foi ocupada pelo Eixo em 1940. Após a libertação em 1944, a curta Quarta República foi estabelecida e posteriormente dissolvida no decorrer da Guerra da Argélia . A atual Quinta República foi formada em 1958 por Charles de Gaulle . A Argélia e a maioria das colônias francesas tornaram-se independentes na década de 1960, com a maioria mantendoestreitos laços econômicos e militares com a França .

A França mantém seu status de séculos como um centro global de arte , ciência e filosofia . Abriga o quinto maior número de locais do Patrimônio Mundial da UNESCO e é o principal destino turístico do mundo, recebendo mais de 89 milhões de visitantes estrangeiros em 2018. [15] A França é um país desenvolvido com a sétima maior economia do mundo em PIB nominal e a nona o maior por PPP ; em termos de riqueza agregada das famílias, ocupa o quarto lugar no mundo. [16] A França tem um bom desempenho em classificações internacionais de educação, saúde , expectativa de vida e desenvolvimento humano . [17] [18] Continua a ser uma grande potência nos assuntos globais, [19] sendo um dos cinco membros permanentes do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas e um estado oficial com armas nucleares . A França é um membro fundador e líder da União Europeia e da Zona do Euro , [20] , bem como um membro chave do Grupo dos Sete , Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte (OTAN), Organização para Cooperação e Desenvolvimento Econômico(OCDE) e La Francophonie .

Etimologia e pronúncia

Originalmente aplicado a todo o Império Franco , o nome França vem do latim Francia , ou "reino dos francos ". [21] A França moderna ainda é chamada hoje de Francia em italiano e espanhol, enquanto Frankreich em alemão, Frankrijk em holandês e Frankrike em sueco significam "Terra / reino dos francos".

O nome dos francos está relacionado com a palavra inglesa frank ("livre"): este último deriva do franco francês antigo ("livre, nobre, sincero"), em última análise, do latim medieval francus ("livre, isento de serviço; homem livre , Frank "), uma generalização do nome tribal que emergiu como um empréstimo latim tardio do endônimo franco reconstruído * Frank . [22] [23] Foi sugerido que o significado "livre" foi adotado porque, após a conquista da Gália, apenas os francos ficaram livres de impostos, [24] ou mais geralmente porque eles tinham o status de homens livres em contraste com servos ou escravos. [23]

A etimologia de * Frank é incerta. É tradicionalmente derivado da palavra proto-germânica * frankōn , que se traduz como "dardo" ou "lança" (o machado de arremesso dos francos era conhecido como francisca ), [25] embora essas armas possam ter sido nomeadas por causa de seus uso pelos francos, não o contrário. [23]

Em inglês, 'França' é pronunciado / f r æ n s / FRANSS no inglês americano e / f r ɑː n s / FRAHNSS ou / f r æ n s / FRANSS no inglês britânico. A pronúncia com / ɑː / é principalmente confinada a acentos com a divisão trap-bath , como Pronúncia recebida , embora também possa ser ouvida em alguns outros dialetos, como o inglês de Cardiff , em que / fr ɑː n s /está em variação livre com/ f r æ n s /. [26][27]

História

Pré-história (antes do século 6 aC)

Lascaux cave paintings: a horse from Dordogne facing right brown on white background
Uma das pinturas de Lascaux : um cavalo - aproximadamente 17.000 aC. Lascaux é famosa por suas "descrições excepcionalmente detalhadas de humanos e animais". [28]

Os vestígios mais antigos da vida humana no que hoje é a França datam de aproximadamente 1,8 milhão de anos atrás. [29] Ao longo dos milênios seguintes, os humanos foram confrontados por um clima severo e variável, marcado por vários períodos glaciais . Os primeiros hominídeos levavam uma vida nômade de caçadores-coletores . [29] A França tem um grande número de cavernas decoradas do alto Paleolítico , incluindo uma das mais famosas e mais bem preservadas, Lascaux [29] (aproximadamente 18.000 aC). No final do último período glacial (10.000 aC), o clima tornou-se mais ameno; [29]a partir de aproximadamente 7.000 aC, esta parte da Europa Ocidental entrou no período Neolítico e seus habitantes tornaram-se sedentários .

Após forte desenvolvimento demográfico e agrícola entre o 4º e o 3º milênio, a metalurgia surgiu no final do 3º milênio, trabalhando inicialmente com ouro, cobre e bronze, e posteriormente com ferro. [30] A França tem vários sítios megalíticos do período Neolítico, incluindo o sítio de pedras Carnac excepcionalmente denso (aproximadamente 3.300 aC).

Antiguidade (século 6 aC - século 5 dC)

Vercingetorix se rende a César durante a Batalha de Alesia . A derrota gaulesa nas Guerras Gálicas garantiu a conquista romana do país.

Em 600 aC, os gregos jônicos de Phocaea fundaram a colônia de Massalia (atual Marselha ), nas margens do Mar Mediterrâneo . Isso a torna a cidade mais antiga da França. [31] [32] Ao mesmo tempo, algumas tribos celtas gaulesas penetraram em partes do leste e do norte da França, gradualmente se espalhando pelo resto do país entre os séculos 5 e 3 aC. [33] O conceito de Gália surgiu durante este período, correspondendo aos territórios de colonização celta que se estendiam entre o Reno , o Oceano Atlântico, os Pirenéus.e o Mediterrâneo. As fronteiras da França moderna correspondem aproximadamente à antiga Gália, que era habitada por gauleses celtas . A Gália era então um país próspero, cuja parte meridional estava fortemente sujeita às influências econômicas e culturais gregas e romanas.

Maison Carrée temple in Nemausus Corinthian columns and portico
A Maison Carrée foi um templo da cidade galo-romana de Nemausus (atual Nîmes ) e é um dos vestígios mais bem preservados do Império Romano .

Por volta de 390 aC, o chefe gaulês Brennus e suas tropas seguiram para a Itália pelos Alpes , derrotaram os romanos na Batalha de Allia e sitiaram e resgataram Roma. [34] A invasão gaulesa deixou Roma enfraquecida, e os gauleses continuaram a assediar a região até 345 aC, quando firmaram um tratado de paz formal com Roma. [35] Mas os romanos e os gauleses permaneceriam adversários pelos próximos séculos, e os gauleses continuariam a ser uma ameaça na Itália . [36]

Por volta de 125 aC, o sul da Gália foi conquistado pelos romanos, que chamaram essa região de Provincia Nostra ("Nossa Província"), que com o tempo evoluiu para o nome de Provença em francês. [37] Júlio César conquistou o restante da Gália e superou uma revolta levada a cabo pelo chefe gaulês Vercingetórix em 52 aC. [38] De acordo com Plutarco e os escritos do estudioso Brendan Woods, as Guerras Gálicas resultaram em 800 cidades conquistadas, 300 tribos subjugadas, um milhão de homens vendidos como escravos e outros três milhões de mortos em batalha. [ citação necessária ]

A Gália foi dividida por Augusto em províncias romanas. [39] Muitas cidades foram fundadas durante o período galo-romano , incluindo Lugdunum (atual Lyon ), que é considerada a capital dos gauleses. [39] Essas cidades foram construídas no estilo romano tradicional, com um fórum , um teatro , um circo , um anfiteatro e banhos termais . Os gauleses se misturaram com os colonos romanos e, eventualmente, adotaram a cultura romana e o discurso romano ( latim , a partir do qual a língua francesa evoluiu). O politeísmo romanofundiu-se com o paganismo gaulês no mesmo sincretismo .

De 250 a 280 DC, a Gália Romana sofreu uma grave crise com suas fronteiras fortificadas sendo atacadas em várias ocasiões por bárbaros . [40] No entanto, a situação melhorou na primeira metade do século 4, que foi um período de renascimento e prosperidade para a Gália romana. [41] Em 312, o imperador Constantino I se converteu ao cristianismo. Posteriormente, os cristãos, que haviam sido perseguidos até então, aumentaram rapidamente em todo o Império Romano. [42] Mas, a partir do início do século 5, as invasões bárbaras recomeçaram. [43] Tribos teutônicas invadiram a região da atual Alemanha, os visigodosestabelecendo-se no sudoeste, os borgonheses ao longo do vale do rio Reno e os francos (de quem os franceses tomaram seu nome) no norte. [44]

Primeira Idade Média (século V a 10)

animated gif showing expansion of Franks across Europe
Expansão franca de 481 para 870

No final do período da Antiguidade , a antiga Gália foi dividida em vários reinos germânicos e um território galo-romano remanescente, conhecido como Reino de Syagrius . Simultaneamente, os bretões celtas , fugindo do assentamento anglo-saxão da Grã-Bretanha , colonizaram a parte ocidental da Armórica . Como resultado, a península armórica foi renomeada para Bretanha , a cultura celta foi revivida e pequenos reinos independentes surgiram nesta região.

O primeiro líder a tornar-se rei de todos os francos foi Clovis I , que iniciou seu reinado em 481, derrotando as últimas forças dos governadores romanos da província em 486. Clovis afirmou que seria batizado cristão no caso de seu vitória contra os visigodos , que teriam garantido a batalha. Clovis recuperou o sudoeste dos visigodos , foi batizado em 508 e tornou-se mestre do que hoje é a Alemanha ocidental.

Clóvis I foi o primeiro conquistador germânico após a queda do Império Romano a se converter ao cristianismo católico, em vez do arianismo ; assim, a França recebeu o título de "filha mais velha da Igreja" (em francês: La fille aînée de l'Église ) pelo papado, [45] e os reis franceses seriam chamados de "os reis mais cristãos da França" ( Rex Christianissimus ).

painting of Clovis I conversion to Catholicism in 498, a king being baptized in a tub in a cathedral surrounded by bishop and monks
Com a conversão de Clóvis ao catolicismo em 498, a monarquia franca , eletiva e secular até então, tornou-se hereditária e de direito divino .

Os francos abraçaram a cultura galo-romana cristã e a antiga Gália foi renomeada como Francia ("Terra dos Francos"). Os francos germânicos adotaram as línguas românicas , exceto no norte da Gália, onde os assentamentos romanos eram menos densos e onde surgiram as línguas germânicas . Clovis fez de Paris sua capital e estabeleceu a dinastia merovíngia , mas seu reino não sobreviveria à sua morte. Os francos tratavam a terra puramente como uma posse privada e a dividiam entre seus herdeiros, de modo que quatro reinos emergiram de Clovis: Paris, Orléans , Soissons e Rheims . Os últimos reis merovíngios perderam o poderaos prefeitos do palácio (chefe da família). Um prefeito do palácio, Charles Martel , derrotou uma invasão islâmica da Gália na Batalha de Tours (732) e ganhou respeito e poder dentro dos reinos francos. Seu filho, Pepino , o Curto , confiscou a coroa de Francia dos enfraquecidos merovíngios e fundou a dinastia carolíngia . O filho de Pepin, Carlos Magno , reuniu os reinos francos e construiu um vasto império na Europa Ocidental e Central.

Proclamado Sacro Imperador Romano pelo Papa Leão III e, assim, estabelecendo a sério a associação histórica de longa data do Governo Francês com a Igreja Católica , [46] Carlos Magno tentou reviver o Império Romano Ocidental e sua grandeza cultural. O filho de Carlos Magno, Luís I (imperador 814–840), manteve o império unido; no entanto, este Império Carolíngio não sobreviveria à sua morte. Em 843, sob o Tratado de Verdun , o império foi dividido entre os três filhos de Luís, com a Francia Oriental indo para Luís, o Alemão , a Frância Média para Lotário Ie Francia Ocidental para Carlos, o Calvo . A Francia Ocidental se aproximou da área ocupada e foi a precursora da França moderna. [47]

Durante os séculos 9 e 10, continuamente ameaçada por invasões vikings , a França tornou-se um estado muito descentralizado: os títulos e terras da nobreza tornaram-se hereditários, e a autoridade do rei tornou-se mais religiosa do que secular e, portanto, foi menos eficaz e constantemente desafiada por nobres poderosos . Assim foi estabelecido o feudalismo na França. Com o tempo, alguns dos vassalos do rei se tornariam tão poderosos que muitas vezes representavam uma ameaça ao rei. Por exemplo, após a Batalha de Hastings em 1066, Guilherme , o Conquistador, acrescentou "Rei da Inglaterra" aos seus títulos, tornando-se vassalo (como Duque da Normandia ) e igual (como rei da Inglaterra) ao rei da França, criando tensões recorrentes.

Alta e alta Idade Média (séculos 10 a 15)

Joana d'Arc liderou o exército francês em várias vitórias importantes durante a Guerra dos Cem Anos (1337–1453), que abriu o caminho para a vitória final.

A dinastia carolíngia governou a França até 987, quando Hugh Capet , duque da França e conde de Paris, foi coroado rei dos francos . [48] Seus descendentes - os Capetianos , a Casa de Valois e a Casa de Bourbon - unificaram progressivamente o país por meio de guerras e herança dinástica no Reino da França, que foi totalmente declarado em 1190 por Filipe II da França ( Philippe Auguste ). Reis posteriores iriam expandir seu domínio real diretamente possuídocobrir mais da metade da França continental moderna até o século 15, incluindo a maior parte do norte, centro e oeste da França. Durante esse processo, a autoridade real tornou-se cada vez mais assertiva, centrada em uma sociedade concebida hierarquicamente, distinguindo nobreza , clero e plebeus .

A nobreza francesa desempenhou um papel proeminente na maioria das Cruzadas para restaurar o acesso cristão à Terra Santa . Os cavaleiros franceses constituíam a maior parte do fluxo constante de reforços ao longo dos duzentos anos das Cruzadas, de tal forma que os árabes se referiam uniformemente aos cruzados como Franj, pouco se importando se eles realmente vinham da França. [49] Os cruzados franceses também importaram a língua francesa para o Levante , tornando o francês a base da língua franca (literalmente "língua franca") dos estados cruzados . [49] Os cavaleiros franceses também constituíam a maioria tanto no Hospitale as ordens do Templo . Este último, em particular, possuía inúmeras propriedades em toda a França e no século 13 foram os principais banqueiros da coroa francesa, até que Filipe IV aniquilou a ordem em 1307. A Cruzada Albigense foi lançada em 1209 para eliminar os cátaros heréticos na área sudoeste da França moderna. No final, os cátaros foram exterminados e o condado autônomo de Toulouse foi anexado às terras da coroa da França . [50]

A partir do século 11, a Casa de Plantageneta, os governantes do condado de Anjou , conseguiu estabelecer seu domínio sobre as províncias vizinhas de Maine e Touraine , então construiu progressivamente um "império" que se estendeu da Inglaterra aos Pirenéus e cobrindo metade de França moderna. As tensões entre o reino da França e o império Plantageneta durariam cem anos, até que Filipe II da França conquistou, entre 1202 e 1214, a maior parte das possessões continentais do império, deixando a Inglaterra e a Aquitânia para os Plantagenetas. Após a Batalha de Bouvines .

Carlos IV, o Belo, morreu sem um herdeiro em 1328. [51] De acordo com as regras da lei sálica, a coroa da França não podia passar para uma mulher, nem a linhagem da realeza poderia passar pela linha feminina. [51] Consequentemente, a coroa passou para Filipe de Valois, ao invés da linha feminina para Eduardo de Plantageneta, que logo se tornaria Eduardo III da Inglaterra . Durante o reinado de Filipe de Valois , a monarquia francesa atingiu o auge de seu poder medieval. [51] No entanto, o assento de Filipe no trono foi contestado por Eduardo III da Inglaterra em 1337, e a Inglaterra e a França entraram na Guerra dos Cem Anos . [52] Os limites exatos mudaram muito com o tempo, mas as propriedades dos reis ingleses dentro da França permaneceram extensas por décadas. Com líderes carismáticos, como Joana d'Arc e La Hire , fortes contra-ataques franceses reconquistaram a maioria dos territórios continentais ingleses. Como o resto da Europa, a França foi atingida pela Peste Negra; metade da população de 17 milhões da França morreu. [53] [54]

Período do início da modernidade (século 15 a 1789)

O Château de Chenonceau , hoje parte do Patrimônio Mundial da UNESCO , foi construído no início do século XVI.

O Renascimento francês viu um desenvolvimento cultural espetacular e a primeira padronização da língua francesa, que se tornaria a língua oficial da França e a língua da aristocracia europeia. Também assistiu a uma longa série de guerras, conhecidas como as Guerras Italianas , entre a França e a Casa de Habsburgo . Exploradores franceses, como Jacques Cartier ou Samuel de Champlain , reivindicaram terras nas Américas para a França, abrindo caminho para a expansão do primeiro império colonial francês . A ascensão do protestantismo na Europa levou a França a uma guerra civil conhecida como as Guerras Religiosas da França , onde, no incidente mais notório, milhares de huguenotesforam assassinados no massacre Dia de São Bartolomeu de 1572. [55] As Guerras de Religião foram terminou por Henry IV do Édito de Nantes , que concedeu alguma liberdade de religião para os huguenotes. As tropas espanholas , o terror da Europa Ocidental, [56] ajudaram o lado católico durante as Guerras de Religião em 1589-1594 e invadiram o norte da França em 1597; depois de algumas escaramuças nas décadas de 1620 e 1630, a Espanha e a França voltaram à guerra total entre 1635 e 1659. A guerra custou à França 300.000 baixas. [57]

Sob Luís XIII , o enérgico cardeal Richelieu promoveu a centralização do estado e reforçou o poder real desarmando os detentores do poder doméstico na década de 1620. Ele sistematicamente destruiu castelos de senhores desafiadores e denunciou o uso de violência privada (duelos, porte de armas e manutenção de exércitos privados). No final da década de 1620, Richelieu estabeleceu "o monopólio real da força" como doutrina. [58] Durante a minoria de Luís XIV e a regência da Rainha Anne e do Cardeal Mazarin , um período de problemas conhecido como Fronda ocorreu na França. Esta rebelião foi impulsionada pelos grandes senhores feudais e cortes soberanoscomo uma reação à ascensão do poder absoluto real na França.

Louis XIV of France standing in plate armor and blue sash facing left holding baton
Luís XIV , o "rei do sol", era o monarca absoluto da França e fez da França a principal potência europeia.

A monarquia atingiu seu auge durante o século 17 e o reinado de Luís XIV (1643–1715). Ao transformar poderosos senhores feudais em cortesãos no Palácio de Versalhes , o poder pessoal de Luís XIV tornou-se incontestável. Lembrado por suas inúmeras guerras, ele fez da França a principal potência europeia. A França se tornou o país mais populoso da Europa e teve uma enorme influência sobre a política, economia e cultura europeias. O francês se tornou a língua mais usada na diplomacia, ciência, literatura e assuntos internacionais, e assim permaneceu até o século XX. [59] A França obteve muitas possessões no exterior nas Américas, África e Ásia. Luís XIV também revogou o Édito de Nantes, forçando milhares de huguenotes ao exílio.

Durante as guerras de Luís XV (r. 1715–1774), a França perdeu a Nova França e a maioria de suas possessões indígenas após sua derrota na Guerra dos Sete Anos (1756–1763). Seu território europeu continuou crescendo, no entanto, com aquisições notáveis ​​como Lorraine (1766) e Córsega (1770). Um rei impopular, o governo fraco de Luís XV, suas decisões financeiras, políticas e militares imprudentes - bem como a libertinagem de sua corte - desacreditaram a monarquia, o que possivelmente abriu o caminho para a Revolução Francesa 15 anos após sua morte. [60] [61]

Luís XVI (r. 1774-1793) apoiou ativamente os americanos com dinheiro, frotas e exércitos , ajudando-os a conquistar a independência da Grã-Bretanha . A França se vingou, mas gastou tanto que o governo esteve à beira da falência - um fator que contribuiu para a Revolução Francesa. Muito do Iluminismo ocorreu nos círculos intelectuais franceses, e grandes avanços científicos e invenções, como a descoberta do oxigênio (1778) e o primeiro balão de ar quente transportando passageiros (1783), foram alcançados por cientistas franceses. Exploradores franceses, como Bougainville e Lapérouse , participaram de viagens de exploração científicapor meio de expedições marítimas ao redor do globo. A filosofia iluminista, na qual a razão é defendida como a principal fonte de legitimidade , minou o poder e o apoio à monarquia e também foi um fator na Revolução Francesa.

França revolucionária (1789-1799)

Ouverture des États généraux à Versailles, 5 mai 1789 por Auguste Couder
drawing of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, smoke of gunfire enveloping stone castle
A Tomada da Bastilha em 14 de julho de 1789 foi o acontecimento mais emblemático da Revolução Francesa .

Enfrentando problemas financeiros, o rei Luís XVI convocou os Estados Gerais (reunindo os três Estados do reino ) em maio de 1789 para propor soluções para seu governo. No impasse, os representantes do Terceiro Estado formaram uma Assembleia Nacional , sinalizando a eclosão da Revolução Francesa . Temendo que o rei suprimisse a recém-criada Assembleia Nacional, os insurgentes invadiram a Bastilha em 14 de julho de 1789, data que se tornaria o Dia Nacional da França .

No início de agosto de 1789, a Assembleia Nacional Constituinte aboliu os privilégios da nobreza , como a servidão pessoal e direitos exclusivos de caça. Por meio da Declaração dos Direitos do Homem e do Cidadão(27 de agosto de 1789) A França estabeleceu os direitos fundamentais para os homens. A Declaração afirma "os direitos naturais e imprescritíveis do homem" à "liberdade, propriedade, segurança e resistência à opressão". A liberdade de expressão e de imprensa foi declarada e as prisões arbitrárias proibidas. Exigia a destruição dos privilégios aristocráticos e proclamava liberdade e direitos iguais para todos os homens, bem como acesso a cargos públicos com base no talento, e não no nascimento. Em novembro de 1789, a Assembleia decidiu nacionalizar e vender todas as propriedades da Igreja Católica que havia sido a maior proprietária de terras do país. Em julho de 1790, uma Constituição Civil do Cleroreorganizou a Igreja Católica Francesa, cancelando a autoridade da Igreja de arrecadar impostos, etc. Isso alimentou muito descontentamento em partes da França, o que contribuiu para a eclosão da guerra civil alguns anos depois. Enquanto o rei Luís XVI ainda gozava de popularidade entre a população, sua fuga desastrosa para Varennes (junho de 1791) parecia justificar os rumores de que ele havia ligado suas esperanças de salvação política às perspectivas de invasão estrangeira. Sua credibilidade foi tão profundamente abalada que a abolição da monarquia e o estabelecimento de uma república se tornaram uma possibilidade cada vez maior.

Em agosto de 1791, o imperador da Áustria e o rei da Prússia na Declaração de Pillnitz ameaçaram a França revolucionária de intervir pela força das armas para restaurar a monarquia absoluta francesa. Em setembro de 1791, a Assembleia Nacional Constituinte forçou o rei Luís XVI a aceitar a Constituição francesa de 1791 , transformando assim a monarquia absoluta francesa em uma monarquia constitucional . Na recém-criada Assembleia Legislativa (outubro de 1791), a inimizade se desenvolveu e se aprofundou entre um grupo, mais tarde chamado de ' Girondins ', que era a favor da guerra com a Áustria e a Prússia , e um grupo mais tarde chamado 'Montagnards 'ou' Jacobins ', que se opuseram a tal guerra. A maioria na Assembleia em 1792, entretanto, viu uma guerra com a Áustria e a Prússia como uma chance de aumentar a popularidade do governo revolucionário e pensou que a França venceria uma guerra contra essas monarquias reunidas. Em 20 de abril de 1792, portanto, declararam guerra à Áustria .

Em 10 de agosto de 1792, uma multidão enfurecida ameaçou o palácio do rei Luís XVI , que se refugiou na Assembleia Legislativa. [62] [63] Um exército prussiano invadiu a França no final de agosto de 1792. No início de setembro, os parisienses, enfurecidos com a captura de Verdun pelo exército prussiano e os levantes contra-revolucionários no oeste da França, assassinaram entre 1.000 e 1.500 prisioneiros ao atacar o parisiense prisões. A Assembleia e a Câmara Municipal de Paris pareciam incapazes de impedir aquele derramamento de sangue. [62] [64] A Convenção Nacional , escolhida nas primeiras eleições sob o sufrágio universal masculino , [62]em 20 de setembro de 1792 sucedeu à Assembleia Legislativa e em 21 de setembro aboliu a monarquia ao proclamar a Primeira República Francesa . O ex-rei Luís XVI foi condenado por traição e guilhotinado em janeiro de 1793 . A França declarou guerra à Grã-Bretanha e à República Holandesa em novembro de 1792 e fez o mesmo à Espanha em março de 1793; na primavera de 1793, a Áustria e a Prússia invadiram a França; em março, a França criou uma " república irmã " na " República de Mainz " e a manteve sob controle.

Também em março de 1793, a guerra civil da Vendéia contra Paris começou, evocada tanto pela Constituição Civil do Clero de 1790 quanto pelo recrutamento do exército nacional no início de 1793; em outras partes da França, a rebelião também estava se formando. Uma contenda partidária na Convenção Nacional, que ardia desde outubro de 1791, chegou ao clímax com o grupo dos ' Girondinos ' em 2 de junho de 1793 sendo forçado a renunciar e deixar a convenção. A contra-revolução, iniciada em março de 1793 na Vendéia, em julho havia se espalhado para a Bretanha, Normandia, Bordéus, Marselha, Toulon e Lyon. O governo da Convenção de Paris entre outubro e dezembro de 1793, com medidas brutais, conseguiu subjugar a maioria dos levantes internos, com o custo de dezenas de milhares de vidas. Alguns historiadores consideram que a guerra civil durou até 1796, com um número de possivelmente 450.000 vidas. [65] [66] No final de 1793, os aliados foram expulsos da França. A França em fevereiro de 1794 aboliu a escravidão em suas colônias americanas , mas a reintroduziria mais tarde.

Desentendimentos políticos e inimizade na Convenção Nacional entre outubro de 1793 e julho de 1794 alcançaram níveis sem precedentes, levando dezenas de membros da Convenção a serem condenados à morte e guilhotinados. Enquanto isso, as guerras externas da França em 1794 estavam prosperando, por exemplo, na Bélgica. Em 1795, o governo parecia voltar à indiferença para com os desejos e necessidades das classes mais baixas em relação à liberdade de religião ( católica ) e distribuição justa de alimentos. Até 1799, os políticos, além de inventar um novo sistema parlamentar (o ' Diretório '), se ocuparam em dissuadir o povo do catolicismo e do monarquismo.

Napoleão e século 19 (1799-1914)

painting of Napoleon in 1806 standing with hand in vest attended by staff and Imperial guard regiment
Napoleão , imperador dos franceses , construiu um vasto império em toda a Europa . Suas conquistas espalharam os ideais da Revolução Francesa por grande parte do continente, como soberania popular , igualdade perante a lei , republicanismo e reorganização administrativa, enquanto suas reformas legais tiveram um grande impacto em todo o mundo . O nacionalismo, especialmente na Alemanha, surgiu em reação contra ele. [67]

Napoleão Bonaparte assumiu o controle da República em 1799 tornando-se primeiro cônsul e posteriormente imperador do Império francês (1804-1814; 1815). Como uma continuação das guerras deflagradas pelas monarquias europeias contra a República Francesa, grupos mutantes de coalizões europeias declararam guerras no Império de Napoleão. Seus exércitos conquistaram a maior parte da Europa continental com vitórias rápidas, como as batalhas de Jena-Auerstadt ou Austerlitz . Membros da família Bonaparte foram nomeados monarcas em alguns dos reinos recém-estabelecidos. [68]

Essas vitórias levaram à expansão mundial dos ideais e reformas revolucionárias francesas, como o sistema métrico , o Código Napoleônico e a Declaração dos Direitos do Homem. Em junho de 1812, Napoleão atacou a Rússia, chegando a Moscou. Posteriormente, seu exército se desintegrou devido a problemas de abastecimento, doenças, ataques russos e, finalmente, inverno. Após a catastrófica campanha russa e a subsequente revolta das monarquias europeias contra seu governo, Napoleão foi derrotado e a monarquia Bourbon restaurada . Cerca de um milhão de franceses morreram durante as Guerras Napoleônicas . [68] Após seu breve retornodo exílio, Napoleão foi finalmente derrotado em 1815 na Batalha de Waterloo , a monarquia foi restabelecida (1815–1830), com novas limitações constitucionais.

A desacreditada dinastia Bourbon foi derrubada pela Revolução de julho de 1830, que estabeleceu a monarquia constitucional de julho . Naquele ano, as tropas francesas conquistaram a Argélia, estabelecendo a primeira presença colonial na África desde a abortada invasão do Egito por Napoleão em 1798. Em 1848, a agitação geral levou à Revolução de fevereiro e ao fim da monarquia de julho. A abolição da escravatura e a introdução do sufrágio universal masculino , que foram brevemente promulgadas durante a Revolução Francesa, foram retomadas em 1848. Em 1852, o presidente da República Francesa, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte , sobrinho de Napoleão I, foi proclamado imperador de o segundo império, como Napoleão III. Multiplicou as intervenções francesas no exterior, especialmente na Crimeia , no México e na Itália, que resultaram na anexação do Ducado de Sabóia e do condado de Nice , então parte do Reino da Sardenha . Napoleão III foi destituído após a derrota na Guerra Franco-Prussiana de 1870 e seu regime foi substituído pela Terceira República . Em 1875, a conquista francesa da Argélia foi concluída e aproximadamente 825.000 argelinos foram mortos como resultado. [69]

animated gif of French colonial territory on world map
Mapa animado do crescimento e declínio do império colonial francês

A França teve possessões coloniais , em várias formas, desde o início do século 17, mas nos séculos 19 e 20, seu império colonial ultramarino global se expandiu muito e se tornou o segundo maior do mundo, atrás do Império Britânico . Incluindo a França metropolitana , a área total de terras sob a soberania francesa quase atingiu 13 milhões de quilômetros quadrados nas décadas de 1920 e 1930, 8,6% das terras do mundo. Conhecida como Belle Époque , a virada do século foi um período caracterizado pelo otimismo, pela paz regional, pela prosperidade econômica e pelas inovações tecnológicas, científicas e culturais. Em 1905, o secularismo estatal eraoficialmente estabelecido .

Período contemporâneo (1914-presente)

Poilus francês posando com sua bandeira destruída pela guerra em 1917, durante a Primeira Guerra Mundial

A França foi invadida pela Alemanha e defendida pela Grã-Bretanha para iniciar a Primeira Guerra Mundial em agosto de 1914. Uma rica área industrial no nordeste foi ocupada. A França e os Aliados saíram vitoriosos contra as Potências Centrais a um tremendo custo humano e material. A Primeira Guerra Mundial deixou 1,4 milhão de soldados franceses mortos, 4% de sua população. [70] Entre 27 e 30% dos soldados recrutados de 1912 a 1915 foram mortos. [71] Os anos interbellum foram marcados por intensas tensões internacionais e uma variedade de reformas sociais introduzidas pelo governo da Frente Popular ( férias anuais , jornadas de trabalho de oito horas , mulheres no governo)

Em 1940, a França foi invadida e rapidamente derrotada pela Alemanha nazista . A França foi dividida em uma zona de ocupação alemã no norte, uma zona de ocupação italiana no sudeste e um território não ocupado, o resto da França, que consistia no território metropolitano do sul da França (dois quintos da França metropolitana antes da guerra) e o Império francês, que incluiu os dois protetorados da Tunísia Francesa e do Marrocos Francês, e da Argélia Francesa; o governo de Vichy, um regime autoritário recém-estabelecido em colaboração com a Alemanha, governou o território desocupado. A França Livre, o governo no exílio liderado por Charles de Gaulle, foi estabelecido em Londres. [72] [ citação completa necessária ]

De 1942 a 1944, cerca de 160.000 cidadãos franceses, incluindo cerca de 75.000 judeus , [72] [73] [74] foram deportados para campos de extermínio e de concentração na Alemanha e na Polônia ocupada. [75] Em setembro de 1943, a Córsega foi o primeiro território metropolitano francês a se libertar do Eixo. Em 6 de junho de 1944, os Aliados invadiram a Normandia e em agosto invadiram a Provença . No ano seguinte, os Aliados e a Resistência Francesa emergiram vitoriosos sobre as potências do Eixo e a soberania francesa foi restaurada com o estabelecimento doGoverno Provisório da República Francesa (GPRF). Este governo interino, estabelecido por de Gaulle, pretendia continuar a guerra contra a Alemanha e expulsar os colaboradores dos cargos . Também fez várias reformas importantes (sufrágio estendido às mulheres, criação de um sistema de seguridade social ).

Charles de Gaulle seated in uniform looking left with folded arms
Charles de Gaulle teve participação ativa em muitos eventos importantes do século 20: herói da Primeira Guerra Mundial, líder da França Livre durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial , ele então se tornou presidente , onde facilitou a descolonização, manteve a França como uma grande potência e superou a revolta de maio de 1968 .

O GPRF lançou as bases para uma nova ordem constitucional que resultou na Quarta República , que teve um crescimento econômico espetacular ( les Trente Glorieuses ). A França foi um dos membros fundadores da OTAN (1949). A França tentou recuperar o controle da Indochina Francesa, mas foi derrotada pelo Viet Minh em 1954 na batalha culminante de Dien Bien Phu . Poucos meses depois, a França enfrentou outro conflito anticolonialista na Argélia . A tortura e repressão sistemáticas, bem como as execuções extrajudiciais perpetradas para manter o controle da Argélia, então tratada como parte integrante da França e lar de mais de um milhão de colonos europeus , [76] [77] arruinou o país e quase levou a um golpe e a uma guerra civil. [78]

Em 1958, a débil e instável Quarta República deu lugar à Quinta República , que incluiu uma Presidência fortalecida. [79] No último papel, Charles de Gaulle conseguiu manter o país unido enquanto tomava medidas para encerrar a Guerra da Argélia . A guerra foi concluída com os Acordos de Évian em 1962 que levaram à independência da Argélia. A independência da Argélia teve um preço alto: a saber, o grande tributo sobre a população argelina. Isso resultou em meio milhão a um milhão de mortes e mais de 2 milhões de argelinos internamente deslocados. [80] [81] [82] Um vestígio do império colonial são os departamentos e territórios franceses ultramarinos .

Os protestos de maio de 68 , um movimento social massivo , acabariam por levar a muitas mudanças sociais, como o direito ao aborto , o empoderamento das mulheres , bem como a descriminalização da homossexualidade . [83] [84]

No contexto da Guerra Fria , De Gaulle seguiu uma política de "independência nacional" em relação aos blocos ocidental e oriental . Para tal, retirou-se do comando militar integrado da OTAN (embora permanecesse na própria aliança da OTAN), lançou um programa de desenvolvimento nuclear e fez da França a quarta potência nuclear . Ele restaurou as relações cordiais franco-alemãs para criar um contrapeso europeu entre as esferas de influência americana e soviética. No entanto, ele se opôs a qualquer desenvolvimento de uma Europa supranacional , favorecendo uma Europa de nações soberanas. Na esteira da série de protestos mundiais de 1968 , a revolta de maio de 1968 teve um enorme impacto social. Na França, foi o momento decisivo em que um ideal moral conservador (religião, patriotismo, respeito pela autoridade) mudou para um ideal moral mais liberal ( secularismo , individualismo , revolução sexual ). Embora a revolta tenha sido um fracasso político (já que o partido gaullista emergiu ainda mais forte do que antes), ela anunciou uma divisão entre o povo francês e de Gaulle, que renunciou pouco depois. [85]

Na era pós-gaullista, a França continuou sendo uma das economias mais desenvolvidas do mundo , mas enfrentou várias crises econômicas que resultaram em altas taxas de desemprego e aumento da dívida pública. No final do século 20 e no início do século 21, a França esteve na vanguarda do desenvolvimento de uma União Europeia supranacional , nomeadamente ao assinar o Tratado de Maastricht (que criou a União Europeia) em 1992, instituindo a Zona Euro em 1999 e assinando o Tratado de Lisboa em 2007. [86] A França também gradualmente, mas totalmente reintegrada na OTAN e desde então tem participado na maioria das guerras patrocinadas pela OTAN. [87]

Place de la République statue column with large French flag
Marchas republicanas foram organizadas em toda a França após os ataques de janeiro de 2015 perpetrados por terroristas islâmicos ; eles se tornaram os maiores comícios públicos da história francesa.

Desde o século 19, a França recebeu muitos imigrantes . A maioria deles eram trabalhadores estrangeiros do sexo masculino de países católicos europeus que geralmente voltavam para casa quando não estavam empregados. [88] Durante a década de 1970, a França enfrentou uma crise econômica e permitiu que novos imigrantes (principalmente do Magrebe ) [88] se instalassem definitivamente na França com suas famílias e adquirissem a cidadania francesa. Isso resultou em centenas de milhares de muçulmanos (especialmente nas grandes cidades) vivendo em moradias públicas subsidiadas e sofrendo com taxas de desemprego muito altas. [89] Simultaneamente, a França renunciou à assimilaçãode imigrantes, onde se esperava que eles aderissem aos valores tradicionais franceses e às normas culturais. Eles foram encorajados a manter suas culturas e tradições distintas e apenas se integraram . [90]

Desde os 1995 Paris metro e RER atentados , a França tem sido esporadicamente alvo de organizações islâmicas, nomeadamente a Charlie Hebdo ataque em janeiro de 2015, que provocou as maiores manifestações públicas da história da França, reunindo 4,4 milhões de pessoas, [91] [92] a novembro 2015 Ataques em Paris que resultaram em 130 mortes, o ataque mais mortal em solo francês desde a Segunda Guerra Mundial [93] [94] e o mais mortal na União Europeia desde os atentados a bomba em trens de Madrid em 2004 , [95] bem como o ataque a caminhão em Nice em 2016 , que causou 87 mortes duranteComemorações do Dia da Bastilha . A Opération Chammal , os esforços militares da França para conter o ISIS , matou mais de 1.000 soldados do ISIS entre 2014 e 2015. [96] [97]

Geografia

Localização e fronteiras

see description
Um mapa de relevo da França Metropolitana, mostrando cidades com mais de 100.000 habitantes
Panorama of Mont Blanc mountain range above gray clouds under a blue sky
O Monte Branco , o cume mais alto da Europa Ocidental, marca a fronteira com a Itália.

A grande maioria do território e da população da França está situada na Europa Ocidental e é chamada de França Metropolitana , para distingui-la das várias políticas ultramarinas do país. Faz fronteira com o Mar do Norte, no norte, o Canal da Manchaa noroeste, o oceano Atlântico a oeste e o mar Mediterrâneo a sudeste. Suas fronteiras terrestres consistem na Bélgica e Luxemburgo no nordeste, Alemanha e Suíça no leste, Itália e Mônaco no sudeste, e Andorra e Espanha no sul e sudoeste. Com exceção do nordeste, a maior parte das fronteiras terrestres da França são aproximadamente delineadas por fronteiras naturais e características geográficas: ao sul e sudeste, os Pirineus e os Alpes e o Jura, respectivamente, e a leste, o rio Reno. Devido à sua forma, a França é frequentemente referida como l'Hexagone ("O Hexágono "). A França metropolitana inclui várias ilhas costeiras, das quais a maior é a Córsega . A França metropolitana está situada principalmente entre latitudes41 ° e 51 ° N , e longitudes 6 ° W e 10 ° E , na borda ocidental da Europa e, portanto, encontra-se dentro da zona temperada do norte . Sua parte continental cobre cerca de 1000 km de norte a sul e de leste a oeste.

A França possui várias regiões ultramarinas em todo o mundo, que são organizadas da seguinte forma:

A França faz fronteira terrestre com o Brasil e o Suriname através da Guiana Francesa e com o Reino dos Países Baixos através da porção francesa de Saint Martin .

A França metropolitana cobre 551.500 quilômetros quadrados (212.935 sq mi), [98] o maior entre os membros da União Europeia . [20] A área total da França, com seus departamentos e territórios ultramarinos (excluindo Adélie Land ), é 643.801 km 2 (248.573 sq mi), 0,45% da área total da Terra. A França possui uma grande variedade de paisagens, desde as planícies costeiras no norte e oeste até as cadeias montanhosas dos Alpes no sudeste, o Maciço Central no centro-sul e os Pirineus no sudoeste.

Devido a seus inúmeros departamentos e territórios ultramarinos espalhados por todo o planeta, a França possui a segunda maior zona econômica exclusiva (ZEE) do mundo, cobrindo 11.035.000 km 2 (4.260.000 mi 2 ), logo atrás da ZEE dos Estados Unidos , que cobre 11.351.000 km 2 (4.383.000 mi 2 ), mas à frente do ZEE da Austrália, que cobre 8.148.250 km 2 (4.111.312 mi 2 ). Sua ZEE cobre aproximadamente 8% da superfície total de todas as ZEEs do mundo.

Geologia, topografia e hidrografia

Formações geológicas perto de Roussillon , Vaucluse

A França metropolitana possui uma grande variedade de conjuntos topográficos e paisagens naturais. Grandes partes do atual território da França foram erguidas durante vários episódios tectônicos como a elevação hercínica na Era Paleozóica, durante a qual o Maciço Armoricano , o Maciço Central , o Morvan , as cordilheiras de Vosges e Ardennes e a ilha da Córsegaforam formadas. Esses maciços delineiam várias bacias sedimentares, como a bacia da Aquitânia no sudoeste e a bacia de Paris no norte, a última incluindo várias áreas de solo particularmente fértil, como os leitos de Beauce e Brie. Várias vias de passagem natural, como o Vale do Ródano, permitem comunicações fáceis. As montanhas Alpinas, Pirineus e Jura são muito mais jovens e apresentam formas menos erodidas. A 4.810,45 metros (15.782 pés) [99] acima do nível do mar, o Monte Branco , localizado nos Alpes, na fronteira com a França e a Itália, é o ponto mais alto da Europa Ocidental. Embora 60% dos municípios sejam classificados como de risco sísmico, esses riscos permanecem moderados.

Leito de junco no estuário do Gironde , o maior estuário da Europa Ocidental

Os litorais oferecem paisagens contrastantes: cadeias de montanhas ao longo da Riviera Francesa , penhascos costeiros como a Côte d'Albâtre e amplas planícies arenosas no Languedoc . A Córsega fica ao largo da costa do Mediterrâneo. A França possui um extenso sistema de rios que consiste nos quatro rios principais, Sena , Loire , Garonne , Ródano e seus afluentes, cuja captação combinada inclui mais de 62% do território metropolitano. O Ródano divide o Maciço Central dos Alpes e desagua no Mar Mediterrâneo na Camargue . O Garonne encontra a Dordonha logo após Bordéus, formando oEstuário do Gironde , o maior estuário da Europa Ocidental, que após aproximadamente 100 quilômetros deságua no Oceano Atlântico. [100] Outros cursos de água drenam em direção ao Mosa e ao Reno ao longo da fronteira nordeste. A França tem 11 milhões de quilômetros quadrados (4,2 × 10 6  sq mi) de águas marinhas em três oceanos sob sua jurisdição, dos quais 97% estão no exterior. ^

Clima

Mapa de classificação climática de Köppen da França Metropolitana

O território metropolitano francês é relativamente extenso, por isso o clima não é uniforme, dando origem às seguintes nuances climáticas:

• O clima mediterrâneo de verão quente ( Csa ) é encontrado ao longo do Golfo de Lion . Os verões são quentes e secos, enquanto os invernos são amenos e úmidos. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Arles , Avignon , Fréjus , Hyères , Marselha , Menton , Montpellier , Nice , Perpignan , Toulon .

• O clima mediterrâneo de verão quente ( Csb ) é encontrado na parte norte da Bretanha . Os verões são quentes e secos, enquanto os invernos são frios e úmidos. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Belle Île , Saint-Brieuc .

• O clima subtropical úmido ( Cfa ) é encontrado nas planícies do interior de Garonne e Rhône . Os verões são quentes e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são frios e úmidos. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Albi , Carcassonne , Lyon , Orange , Toulouse , Valence .

• O clima oceânico ( Cfb ) é encontrado ao redor da costa do Golfo da Biscaia , e um pouco para o interior. Os verões são agradavelmente quentes e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são frios e úmidos. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Amiens , Biarritz , Bordéus , Brest , Cherbourg-en-Cotentin , Dunquerque , Lille , Nantes , Orléans , Paris , Reims , Tours .

• O clima oceânico degradado (degradado- Cfb ) é encontrado nas planícies do interior e nos vales intra-alpinos, longe do oceano (ou mar). Os verões são quentes e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são frios e sombrios. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Annecy , Besançon , Bourges , Chambéry , Clermont-Ferrand , Colmar , Dijon , Grenoble , Langres , Metz , Mulhouse , Nancy , Estrasburgo .

• O clima oceânico subalpino ( Cfc ) é encontrado no sopé de todas as regiões montanhosas da França. Os verões são curtos, frios e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são moderadamente frios e úmidos. Nenhuma grande cidade é afetada por este clima.

• O clima continental mediterrâneo de verão quente ( Dsb ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas do sul da França entre 700 e 1.400 metros acima do nível do mar. Os verões são agradavelmente quentes e secos, enquanto os invernos são muito frios e com neve. Cidade afetada por este clima: Barcelonnette .

• O clima continental mediterrâneo de verão frio ( Dsc ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas do sul da França entre 1.400 e 2.100 metros acima do nível do mar. Os verões são frios, curtos e secos, enquanto os invernos são muito frios e com neve. Local afetado por este clima: Isola 2000 .

• O clima continental úmido de verão quente ( Dfb ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas da metade norte da França entre 500 e 1.000 metros acima do nível do mar. Os verões são agradavelmente quentes e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são muito frios e com neve. Cidades afetadas por este clima: Chamonix , Mouthe . Em janeiro de 1985, em Mouthe , a temperatura caiu abaixo de -41 ° C.

• O clima subalpino ( Dfc ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas da metade norte da França entre 1.000 e 2.000 metros acima do nível do mar. Os verões são frios, curtos e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são muito frios e com neve. Locais afetados por este clima: Cauterets Courchevel , Alpe d'Huez , Les 2 Alpes , Peyragudes , Val-Thorens .

• O clima de tundra alpina ( ET ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas da França, geralmente acima de 2.000 ou 2.500 metros acima do nível do mar. Os verões são frios e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são extremamente frios, longos e com neve. Montanhas afetadas por este clima: Aiguilles-Rouges , Aravis , o topo do Crêt de la neige (raro, altitude 1.718 m) e o topo do Grand-Ballon (raro, altitude 1.423 m).

• O clima da calota polar ( EF ) é encontrado em todas as regiões montanhosas da França que possuem uma geleira . Os verões são frios e úmidos, enquanto os invernos são extremamente frios, longos e com neve. Montanhas afetadas por este clima: Aiguille du midi , Barre des Écrins , Belledonne , Grand-Casse , Mont Blanc (4.810 m), Pic du Midi de Bigorre .

• Nas regiões ultramarinas , existem três tipos amplos de clima:

A mudança climática na França inclui aquecimento acima da média. [101]

Ambiente

color map showing Regional natural parks of France
Parques marinhos (azul), regionais (verdes) e nacionais (vermelhos) na França (2019)

A França foi um dos primeiros países a criar um ministério do meio ambiente, em 1971. [102] Embora seja um dos países mais industrializados do mundo, a França está classificada apenas em 19º em emissões de dióxido de carbono , atrás de nações menos populosas como Canadá ou Austrália. Isso se deve ao grande investimento do país em energia nuclear após a crise do petróleo de 1973 , [103] que agora responde por 75% de sua produção de eletricidade [104] e resulta em menos poluição. [105] [106] De acordo com o Índice de Desempenho Ambiental de 2018 realizado por Yale e Columbia, A França foi o segundo país com maior consciência ambiental do mundo (depois da Suíça), em comparação com o décimo lugar em 2016 e o ​​27º em 2014. [107] [108]

A floresta de Rambouillet em Yvelines ilustra a diversidade da flora da França.

Como todos os estados membros da União Europeia, a França concordou em cortar as emissões de carbono em pelo menos 20% dos níveis de 1990 até o ano 2020, [109] em comparação com o plano dos Estados Unidos de reduzir as emissões em 4% dos níveis de 1990. [110] Em 2009 , as emissões de dióxido de carbono per capita da França eram menores do que as da China. [111] O país foi definido para impor um imposto sobre o carbono em 2009 em 17 euros por tonelada de carbono emitida, [112] o que teria gerado 4 bilhões de euros de receita anualmente. [113] No entanto, o plano foi abandonado devido a temores de onerar as empresas francesas. [114]

O Parque Nacional Calanques em Bouches-du-Rhône é uma das áreas protegidas mais conhecidas da França.

As florestas respondem por 31 por cento da área terrestre da França - a quarta maior proporção da Europa - representando um aumento de 7 por cento desde 1990. [115] [116] [117] As florestas francesas são algumas das mais diversas da Europa, abrangendo mais de 140 espécies de árvores. [118] A França teve uma pontuação média do Índice de Integridade da Paisagem Florestal em 2018 de 4,52 / 10, classificando-a em 123º lugar globalmente entre 172 países. [119] Existem nove parques nacionais [120] e 46 parques naturais na França, [121] com o planejamento do governo para converter 20% de sua zona econômica exclusiva em uma área marinha protegida até 2020.[122] Um parque natural regional [123] (francês: parc naturel régional ou PNR) é um estabelecimento público na França entre as autoridades locais e o governo nacional que cobre uma área rural habitada de grande beleza, para proteger a paisagem e o patrimônio, bem como estabelecimento de um desenvolvimento econômico sustentável na região. [124] Um PNR define metas e diretrizes para a gestão da habitação humana, o desenvolvimento econômico sustentável e a proteção do ambiente natural com base na paisagem e patrimônio únicos de cada parque. Os parques promovem programas de pesquisa ecológica e educação pública em ciências naturais. [125] Em 2019,havia 54 PNRs na França. [126]

divisões administrativas

A República Francesa está dividida em 18 regiões (localizadas na Europa e no exterior), cinco coletividades ultramarinas , um território ultramarino , uma coletividade especial - Nova Caledônia e uma ilha desabitada diretamente sob a autoridade do Ministro da França Ultramarina - Clipperton .

Regiões

Desde 2016, a França está dividida principalmente em 18 regiões administrativas: 13 regiões na França metropolitana (incluindo a coletividade territorial da Córsega ), [127] e cinco localizadas no exterior . [98] As regiões são subdivididas em 101 departamentos , [128] que são numerados principalmente em ordem alfabética. Este número é usado em códigos postais e anteriormente em placas de matrícula de veículos. Entre os 101 departamentos da França, cinco ( Guiana Francesa , Guadalupe, Martinica , Mayotte e Reunião) estão em regiões ultramarinas (ROMs) que também são departamentos ultramarinos (DOMs), gozam exatamente do mesmo status que departamentos metropolitanos e são parte integrante da União Europeia.

Os 101 departamentos estão subdivididos em 335 distritos , os quais, por sua vez, são subdivididos em 2.054 cantões . [129] Esses cantões são divididos em 36.658 comunas , que são municípios com um conselho municipal eleito. [129] Três comunas - Paris, Lyon e Marselha - são subdivididas em 45 distritos municipais .

As regiões, departamentos e comunas são todos conhecidos como coletividades territoriais , o que significa que possuem assembleias locais, bem como um executivo. Arrondissements e cantões são divisões meramente administrativas. No entanto, nem sempre foi assim. Até 1940, os arrondissements eram coletividades territoriais com uma assembleia eleita, mas foram suspensas pelo regime de Vichy e definitivamente abolidas pela Quarta República em 1946.

Territórios ultramarinos e coletividades

Além das 18 regiões e 101 departamentos, a República Francesa tem cinco coletividades ultramarinas ( Polinésia Francesa , São Bartolomeu , São Martinho , São Pedro e Miquelon e Wallis e Futuna ), uma coletividade sui generis ( Nova Caledônia ), um território ultramarino ( Terras do Sul e Antárticas francesas ), e uma possessão insular no Oceano Pacífico ( Ilha de Clipperton ).

As coletividades e territórios ultramarinos fazem parte da República Francesa, mas não fazem parte da União Europeia ou de sua área fiscal (com exceção de São Bartolomeu, que se separou de Guadalupe em 2007). As colectividades do Pacífico (OCM) da Polinésia Francesa, Wallis e Futuna e da Nova Caledónia continuam a utilizar o franco CFP [130], cujo valor está estritamente relacionado com o do euro. Em contraste, as cinco regiões ultramarinas usaram o franco francês e agora usam o euro. [131]

diagram of the overseas territories of France showing map shapes
As terras que constituem a República Francesa, apresentadas na mesma escala geográfica
Nome Status constitucional Capital
 Ilha de Clipperton Propriedade privada estatal sob a autoridade direta do governo francês Desabitado
 Polinésia Francesa Designado como uma terra ultramarina ( pays d'outre-mer ou POM), o status é o mesmo que uma coletividade ultramarina. Papeete
 Terras Austrais e Antárticas Francesas Território ultramar ( territoire d'outre-mer ou TOM) Port-aux-Français
 Nova Caledônia Sui generis coletividade Nouméa
 São Bartolomeu Coletividade no exterior ( coletivité d'outre-mer ou COM) Gustavia
 são Martinho Coletividade no exterior ( coletivité d'outre-mer ou COM) Marigot
 São Pedro e Miquelão Coletividade ultramarina ( coletivité d'outre-mer ou COM). Ainda referido como um territoriale coletivité . Saint-Pierre
 Wallis e Futuna Coletividade ultramarina ( coletivité d'outre-mer ou COM). Ainda conhecido como território . Mata-Utu

Política

Governo

Emmanuel Macron (cropped).jpg Portrait Jean Castex (cropped).jpg
Emmanuel Macron
Presidente
Jean Castex
primeiro ministro

A França é a democracia representativa organizada como um unitária , semi-presidencial república . [132] Como uma das primeiras repúblicas do mundo moderno, as tradições e valores democráticos estão profundamente enraizados na cultura, identidade e política francesas. [133] A Constituição da Quinta República foi aprovada por referendo em 28 de setembro de 1958, estabelecendo um quadro constituído pelos poderes Executivo, Legislativo e Judiciário. [134] Ele procurou abordar a instabilidade da Terceira e Quarta repúblicas combinando elementos dos sistemas parlamentar e presidencial, enquanto fortalecia enormemente a autoridade do Executivo em relação ao Legislativo.[133]

O ramo executivo tem dois líderes. O presidente da República , atualmente Emmanuel Macron , é o chefe de estado , eleito diretamente por sufrágio universal adulto para um mandato de cinco anos. [135] O primeiro-ministro , atualmente Jean Castex , é o chefe do governo , nomeado pelo presidente da República para liderar o governo da França. O presidente francês tem o poder de dissolver o parlamento ou contorná-lo submetendo referendos diretamente ao povo; o presidente também nomeia juízes e funcionários públicos de alto escalão, negocia e ratifica acordos internacionais e atua como comandante-chefe das forças armadas. O primeiro-ministro determina as políticas públicas e supervisiona o serviço público, com ênfase nos assuntos internos. [136]

A Assembleia Nacional é a câmara baixa do Parlamento francês.

A legislatura consiste no Parlamento francês , um órgão bicameral que compreende uma câmara baixa , a Assembleia Nacional ( Assemblée nationale ) e uma câmara alta , o Senado . [137] Os legisladores na Assembleia Nacional, conhecidos como députés , representam os círculos eleitorais locais e são eleitos diretamente para mandatos de cinco anos. [138] A Assembleia tem o poder de demitir o governo por maioria de votos. Os senadores são escolhidos por um colégio eleitoral para mandatos de seis anos, com metade dos assentos submetidos à eleição a cada três anos. [139]Os poderes legislativos do Senado são limitados; em caso de desacordo entre as duas câmaras, a Assembleia Nacional tem a palavra final. [140] O parlamento é responsável por determinar as regras e princípios relativos à maioria das áreas do direito, anistia política e política fiscal; no entanto, o governo pode redigir os detalhes específicos relativos à maioria das leis.

Até a Segunda Guerra Mundial, os radicais eram uma força política forte na França, personificada pelo Partido Republicano, Radical e Radical-Socialista, que foi o partido mais importante da Terceira República. Desde a Segunda Guerra Mundial, eles foram marginalizados, enquanto a política francesa passou a ser caracterizada por dois grupos politicamente opostos: um de esquerda, centrado na Seção Francesa da Internacional dos Trabalhadores e seu sucessor, o Partido Socialista (desde 1969); e a outra de direita, centrada no Partido Gaullista , cujo nome mudou ao longo do tempo para Rali do Povo Francês (1947), União dos Democratas pela República (1958), Rali da República(1976), União por um Movimento Popular (2007) e Os Republicanos (desde 2015). Nas eleições presidenciais e legislativas de 2017, o partido centrista radical En Marche! tornou-se a força dominante, ultrapassando socialistas e republicanos.

O eleitorado tem poderes constitucionais para votar em alterações aprovadas pelo Parlamento e projetos de lei apresentados pelo presidente. Os referendos desempenharam um papel fundamental na formação da política francesa e até mesmo da política externa; os eleitores decidiram sobre questões como a independência da Argélia, a eleição do presidente pelo voto popular, a formação da UE e a redução dos limites dos mandatos presidenciais. [141] A diminuição da participação cívica tem sido uma questão de debate público rigoroso, com a maioria do público supostamente apoiando o voto obrigatório como uma solução em 2019. No entanto, pelo menos em 2017, a participação eleitoral foi de 75 por cento durante as eleições recentes, superior a a média da OCDE de 68%. [142]

Lei

A França usa um sistema jurídico civil , em que a lei surge principalmente de estatutos escritos; [98] os juízes não devem fazer a lei, mas meramente interpretá-la (embora a quantidade de interpretação judicial em certas áreas a torne equivalente à jurisprudência em um sistema de common law ). Os princípios básicos do estado de direito foram estabelecidos no Código Napoleônico (que, por sua vez, foi amplamente baseado na lei real codificada por Luís XIV ). De acordo com os princípios da Declaração dos Direitos do Homem e do Cidadão, a lei deve proibir apenas ações prejudiciais à sociedade. Como Guy Canivet , primeiro presidente do Tribunal de Cassação, escreveu sobre a gestão das prisões: "A liberdade é a regra, e sua restrição é a exceção; qualquer restrição à liberdade deve ser prevista em lei e deve seguir os princípios da necessidade e da proporcionalidade." Ou seja, a lei deve estabelecer proibições apenas se forem necessárias e se os inconvenientes causados ​​por essa restrição não excederem os inconvenientes que a proibição pretende remediar.

color drawing of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen from 1789
Os princípios básicos que a República Francesa deve respeitar encontram-se na Declaração dos Direitos do Homem e do Cidadão de 1789 .

O direito francês está dividido em duas áreas principais: direito privado e direito público . O direito privado inclui, em particular, o direito civil e o direito penal . O direito público inclui, em particular, o direito administrativo e o direito constitucional . No entanto, em termos práticos, o direito francês compreende três áreas principais do direito: direito civil, direito penal e direito administrativo. As leis criminais só podem abordar o futuro e não o passado (as leis penais ex post facto são proibidas). [143]Embora o direito administrativo seja frequentemente uma subcategoria do direito civil em muitos países, é completamente separado na França e cada corpo de lei é dirigido por um tribunal supremo específico: os tribunais ordinários (que tratam de litígios criminais e civis) são dirigidos pelo Tribunal de Cassação e os tribunais administrativos são dirigidos pelo Conselho de Estado .

Para serem aplicáveis, todas as leis devem ser publicadas oficialmente no Journal officiel de la République française .

A França não reconhece a lei religiosa como uma motivação para a promulgação de proibições; há muito aboliu as leis de blasfêmia e as leis de sodomia (esta última em 1791). No entanto, "ofensas contra a decência pública " ( contraires aux bonnes mœurs ) ou perturbadoras da ordem pública ( trouble à l'ordre public ) têm sido usadas para reprimir expressões públicas de homossexualidade ou prostituição de rua. Desde 1999, as uniões civis para casais homossexuais são permitidas e, desde 2013, o casamento entre pessoas do mesmo sexo e a adoção de LGBT são legais. [144]As leis que proíbem o discurso discriminatório na imprensa datam de 1881 . Alguns consideram as leis de discurso de ódio na França muito amplas ou severas, prejudicando a liberdade de expressão . [145] A França tem leis contra o racismo e anti - semitismo , [146] enquanto a Lei Gayssot de 1990 proíbe a negação do Holocausto .

A liberdade religiosa é garantida constitucionalmente pela Declaração dos Direitos do Homem e do Cidadão de 1789 . A lei francesa de 1905 sobre a separação das igrejas e do Estado é a base para a laicité (laicismo estatal): o Estado não reconhece formalmente nenhuma religião, exceto na Alsácia-Mosela . No entanto, reconhece associações religiosas. O Parlamento listou muitos movimentos religiosos como cultos perigosos desde 1995, e proibiu o uso de símbolos religiosos conspícuos nas escolas desde 2004. Em 2010, proibiu o uso de véus islâmicos para cobrir o rosto em público ; grupos de direitos humanos, comoA Amnistia Internacional e a Human Rights Watch descreveram a lei como discriminatória para os muçulmanos. [147] [148] No entanto, é apoiado pela maioria da população. [149]

Relações Estrangeiras

La Francophonie map (dozens of countries in Africa, Europe, Asia and Latin America are members of this international organization.
88 estados e governos fazem parte da La Francofonia , [150] que promove os valores da democracia , do multilinguismo e da diversidade cultural . [151] A França tem sido um membro chave desta organização global desde o seu início em 1970.

A França é membro fundador das Nações Unidas e atua como um dos membros permanentes do Conselho de Segurança da ONU com direito de veto. [152] Em 2015, foi descrito como "o melhor estado em rede do mundo" devido à sua participação em mais instituições internacionais do que qualquer outro país; [153] estes incluem o G7, a Organização Mundial do Comércio (OMC), [154] o Secretariado da Comunidade do Pacífico (SPC) [155] e a Comissão do Oceano Índico (COI). [156] É um membro associado da Associação de Estados do Caribe (ACS) [157] e um dos principais membros daOrganização Francófona Internacional (OIF) de 84 países de língua francesa. [158]

Como um importante centro de relações internacionais, a França tem a terceira maior assembleia de missões diplomáticas , perdendo apenas para a China e os Estados Unidos, que são muito mais populosos. Também abriga a sede de várias organizações internacionais , incluindo a OCDE , UNESCO , Interpol , o Bureau Internacional de Pesos e Medidas e a OIF. [159]

A política externa francesa do pós-guerra foi amplamente moldada pela adesão à União Europeia, da qual foi membro fundador . Desde 1960 , a França desenvolveu laços estreitos com a Alemanha reunificada para se tornar a força motriz mais influente da UE . [160] Na década de 1960, a França tentou excluir os britânicos do processo de unificação europeu, [161] buscando construir sua própria posição na Europa continental. No entanto, desde 1904, a França mantém uma " Entente cordiale " com o Reino Unido, e tem havido um fortalecimento dos laços entre os países, especialmente militarmente .

European Parliament opening in Strasbourg with crowd and many countries' flags on flagpoles
O Parlamento Europeu em Estrasburgo , perto da fronteira com (Alemanha). A França é membro fundador de todas as instituições da UE.

A França é membro da Organização do Tratado do Atlântico Norte (OTAN), mas sob o presidente de Gaulle excluiu-se do comando militar conjunto, em protesto às Relações Especiais entre os Estados Unidos e a Grã-Bretanha, e para preservar a independência da França estrangeira e de segurança políticas. Sob Nicolas Sarkozy, a França voltou a juntar-se ao comando militar conjunto da OTAN em 4 de abril de 2009. [162] [163] [164]

No início da década de 1990, o país atraiu críticas consideráveis ​​de outras nações por seus testes nucleares subterrâneos na Polinésia Francesa . [165] A França se opôs vigorosamente à invasão do Iraque em 2003 , [166] [167] prejudicando as relações bilaterais com os Estados Unidos [168] [169] e o Reino Unido.

A França mantém forte influência política e econômica em suas ex-colônias africanas ( Françafrique ) [170] e forneceu ajuda econômica e tropas para missões de paz na Costa do Marfim e no Chade. [171] Recentemente, após a declaração unilateral de independência do norte do Mali pelo Tuareg MNLA e o subsequente conflito regional do norte do Mali com vários grupos islâmicos, incluindo Ansar Dine e MOJWA , a França e outros estados africanos intervieram para ajudar o Exército do Mali a retomar o controle.

Em 2017, a França foi o quarto maior doador mundial de ajuda ao desenvolvimento em termos absolutos, atrás dos Estados Unidos, Alemanha e Reino Unido. [172] Isso representa 0,43% do seu PIB , o 12º maior entre a OCDE. [173] A ajuda é fornecida pela Agência Francesa de Desenvolvimento governamental , que financia principalmente projetos humanitários na África Subsaariana , [174] com ênfase no "desenvolvimento de infraestrutura, acesso a cuidados de saúde e educação, a implementação de políticas econômicas adequadas e consolidação do Estado de direito e da democracia ”. [174]

Militares

see description
Exemplos de militares da França. No sentido horário, a partir do canto superior esquerdo: porta-aviões nuclear Charles de Gaulle ; um caça Dassault Rafale ; Chasseurs Alpins franceses patrulhando os vales da província de Kapisa, no Afeganistão; um tanque Leclerc

The French Armed Forces (Forces armées françaises) are the military and paramilitary forces of France, under the President of the Republic as supreme commander. They consist of the French Army (Armée de Terre), French Navy (Marine Nationale, formerly called Armée de Mer), the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l'Air et de l’Espace), and the Military Police called National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie nationale), which also fulfils civil police duties in the rural areas of France. Together they are among the largest armed forces in the world and the largest in the EU. According to a 2018 study by Crédit Suisse, the French Armed Forces are ranked as the world's sixth-most powerful military, and the most powerful in Europe, only behind Russia.[175]

While the Gendarmerie is an integral part of the French armed forces (gendarmes are career soldiers), and therefore under the purview of the Ministry of the Armed Forces, it is operationally attached to the Ministry of the Interior as far as its civil police duties are concerned.

When acting as general purpose police force, the Gendarmerie encompasses the counter terrorist units of the Parachute Intervention Squadron of the National Gendarmerie (Escadron Parachutiste d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale), the Search Sections of the National Gendarmerie (Sections de Recherche de la Gendarmerie Nationale), responsible for criminal enquiries, and the Mobile Brigades of the National Gendarmerie (Brigades mobiles de la Gendarmerie Nationale, or in short Gendarmerie mobile) which have the task to maintain public order.

The following special units are also part of the Gendarmerie: the Republican Guard (Garde républicaine) which protects public buildings hosting major French institutions, the Maritime Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie maritime) serving as Coast Guard, the Provost Service (Prévôté), acting as the Military Police branch of the Gendarmerie.

As far as the French intelligence units are concerned, the Directorate-General for External Security (Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure) is considered to be a component of the Armed Forces under the authority of the Ministry of Defense. The other, the Central Directorate for Interior Intelligence (Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur) is a division of the National Police Force (Direction générale de la Police Nationale), and therefore reports directly to the Ministry of the Interior. There has been no national conscription since 1997.[176]

France has a special military corps, the French Foreign Legion, founded in 1830, which consists of foreign nationals from over 140 countries who are willing to serve in the French Armed Forces and become French citizens after the end of their service period. The only other countries having similar units are Spain (the Spanish Foreign Legion, called Tercio, was founded in 1920) and Luxembourg (foreigners can serve in the National Army provided they speak Luxembourgish).

France is a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN, and a recognised nuclear state since 1960. France has signed and ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT)[177] and acceded to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. France's annual military expenditure in 2018 was US$63.8 billion, or 2.3% of its GDP, making it the fifth biggest military spender in the world after the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, and India.[178]

French nuclear deterrence, (formerly known as "Force de Frappe"), relies on complete independence. The current French nuclear force consists of four Triomphant class submarines equipped with submarine-launched ballistic missiles. In addition to the submarine fleet, it is estimated that France has about 60 ASMP medium-range air-to-ground missiles with nuclear warheads,[179] of which around 50 are deployed by the Air and Space Force using the Mirage 2000N long-range nuclear strike aircraft, while around 10 are deployed by the French Navy's Super Étendard Modernisé (SEM) attack aircraft, which operate from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. The new Rafale F3 aircraft will gradually replace all Mirage 2000N and SEM in the nuclear strike role with the improved ASMP-A missile with a nuclear warhead.

France has major military industries with one of the largest aerospace industries in the world.[180][181] Its industries have produced such equipment as the Rafale fighter, the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, the Exocet missile and the Leclerc tank among others. Despite withdrawing from the Eurofighter project, France is actively investing in European joint projects such as the Eurocopter Tiger, multipurpose frigates, the UCAV demonstrator nEUROn and the Airbus A400M. France is a major arms seller,[182][183] with most of its arsenal's designs available for the export market with the notable exception of nuclear-powered devices.

France has consistently developed its cybersecurity capabilities, which are regularly ranked as some of the most robust of any nation of the world.[184][185]

The Bastille Day military parade held in Paris each 14 July for France's national day, called Bastille Day in English-speaking countries (referred to in France as Fête nationale), is the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe. Other smaller parades are organised across the country.

Government finance

The Government of France has run a budget deficit each year since the early 1970s. As of 2016, French government debt levels reached 2.2 trillion euros, the equivalent of 96.4% of French GDP.[186] In late 2012, credit rating agencies warned that growing French Government debt levels risked France's AAA credit rating, raising the possibility of a future downgrade and subsequent higher borrowing costs for the French authorities.[187] However, in July 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the French government issued 10-years bonds which had negative interest rates, for the first time in its history.[188] France also possesses in 2020 the fourth-largest gold reserves in the world.[189]

Economy

La Défense, seen from the Eiffel Tower
La Défense (as seen from the Eiffel Tower) was in 2017 ranked by Ernst & Young as the leading Central business district in continental Europe, and the fourth in the world.[190]
A proportional representation of France exports, 2019

France has a mixed economy characterised by a sizeable government involvement, diverse sectors, a skilled labor force, and high innovation. It is a member of the Group of Seven leading industrialized countries and an economic power. For roughly two centuries, the French economy has consistently ranked among the ten largest globally; it is currently the world's ninth largest by purchasing power parity, the seventh largest by nominal GDP, and the second largest in the EU by both metrics.[191]

The French economy is highly diversified, though services dominate, representing two thirds of both the workforce and GDP.[192] The industrial sector accounts for a fifth of GDP and a similar proportion of employment; France is the third biggest manufacturing country in Europe, behind Germany and Italy. Less than 2 percent of GDP is generated by the primary sector, namely agriculture;[193] however, France has one of the world's most valuable agricultural sectors, and leads the European Union in agricultural production.[194]

In 2018, France was the fifth largest trading nation in the world, and the second-largest in Europe, with the value of exports representing over a fifth of GDP.[195] Its membership in the Eurozone and the broader European Single Market facilitate access to capital, goods, services, and skilled labor.[196] Despite protectionist policies over certain industries, particularly in agriculture, France has generally pioneered free trade and commercial integration in Europe to enhance its economy.[197][198] In 2019 it ranked first in Europe and 13th in the world in Foreign Direct Investment, with European countries and the United States being leading sources.[199] According to the Bank of France, the leading recipients of FDI were manufacturing, real estate, finance, and insurance.[200] The Paris region has the highest concentration of multinational firms in Europe.[200]

Under the doctrine of Dirigisme, the government historically played a major role in the economy; policies such as indicative planning and nationalisation are credited for contributing to three decades of unprecedented postwar economic growth known as Trente Glorieuses. At its peak in 1982, the public sector accounted for one-fifth of industrial employment and over four-fifths of the credit market. Beginning in the late 20th century, France loosened regulations and state involvement in the economy, with most leading companies now being privately owned; state ownership now dominates only transportation, defense, and broadcasting.[201] Policies aimed at promoting economic dynamism and privatisation have improved France's economic standing globally: it is among the world's 10 most innovative countries in the 2020 Bloomberg Innovation Index,[202] and the 15th most competitive, according to the 2019 Global Competitiveness Report (up two places from 2018).[203]

According to the IMF, France ranked 30th in GDP per capita, with roughly $45,000 per inhabitant. It placed 23rd in the Human Development Index, indicating very high human development. Public corruption is among the lowest in the world, with France ranking 12th on the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index.[204][205] France is Europe's second largest spender in research and development, at over two percent of GDP; globally, it ranks 12th.[206]

Composition of the French economy (GDP) in 2016 by expenditure type
European map of Eurozone monetary union
France is part of a monetary union, the Eurozone (dark blue), and of the European Single Market (lighter blue).

Financial services, banking and the insurance sector are an important part of the economy. Three largest financial institutions cooperatively owned by their customers are located in France.[207] The Paris stock exchange (French: La Bourse de Paris) is one of the oldest in the world, created by Louis XV in 1724.[208] In 2000, it merged with counterparts in Amsterdam and Brussels to form Euronext,[209] which in 2007 merged with the New York stock exchange to form NYSE Euronext, the world's largest stock exchange.[209] Euronext Paris, the French branch of NYSE Euronext, is Europe's second largest stock exchange market, behind the London Stock Exchange.French companies have maintained key positions in the insurance and banking industries: in 2019, AXA the world's third largest insurance company by total nonbanking assets.[210] The leading French banks are BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole, both ranking among the top 10 largest banks by assets in a 2020 report by S&P Global Market Intelligence;[211] the same source identified Société Générale and Groupe BPCE as the world's 17th and 19th largest banks, respectively.[211]

Agriculture

Champagne wine in a flute
Champagne is from the Champagne region in Northeast France.

France has historically been a large producer of agricultural products.[212] Extensive tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and EU subsidies have combined to make France the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Europe[213] (representing 20% of the EU's agricultural production)[214] and the world's third biggest exporter of agricultural products.[215]

Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as internationally recognized processed foods are the primary French agricultural exports. Rosé wines are primarily consumed within the country, but Champagne and Bordeaux wines are major exports, being known worldwide. EU agriculture subsidies to France have decreased in recent years but still amounted to $8 billion in 2007.[216] That same year, France sold 33.4 billion euros of transformed agricultural products.[217] France produces rum via sugar cane-based distilleries almost all of which are located in overseas territories such as Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Réunion. Agriculture is an important sector of France's economy: 3.8% of the active population is employed in agriculture, whereas the total agri-food industry made up 4.2% of French GDP in 2005.[214]

Tourism

Tour Eiffel at sunrise from the trocadero
The Eiffel Tower is the world's most visited paid monument, an icon of both Paris and France.

With 89 million international tourist arrivals in 2018,[218] France is ranked as the first tourist destination in the world, ahead of Spain (83 million) and the United States (80 million). It is third in income from tourism due to shorter duration of visits.[219] The most popular tourist sites include (annual visitors): Eiffel Tower (6.2 million), Château de Versailles (2.8 million), Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle (2 million), Pont du Gard (1.5 million), Arc de Triomphe (1.2 million), Mont Saint-Michel (1 million), Sainte-Chapelle (683,000), Château du Haut-Kœnigsbourg (549,000), Puy de Dôme (500,000), Musée Picasso (441,000), and Carcassonne (362,000).[220]

Paris region

France, especially Paris, has some of the world's largest and most renowned museums, including the Louvre, which is the most visited art museum in the world (5.7 million), the Musée d'Orsay (2.1 million), mostly devoted to Impressionism, the Musée de l'Orangerie (1.02 million), which is home to eight large Water Lily murals by Claude Monet, as well as the Centre Georges Pompidou (1.2 million), dedicated to contemporary art. Disneyland Paris is Europe's most popular theme park, with 15 million combined visitors to the resort's Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park in 2009.[221]

French Riviera

With more than 10 millions tourists a year, the French Riviera (French: Côte d'Azur), in Southeast France, is the second leading tourist destination in the country, after the Paris region.[222] It benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, 115 kilometres (71 mi) of coastline and beaches, 18 golf courses, 14 ski resorts and 3,000 restaurants.[223]:31 Each year the Côte d'Azur hosts 50% of the world's superyacht fleet.[223]:66

Châteaux

With 6 millions tourists a year, the castles of the Loire Valley (French: châteaux) and the Loire Valley itself are the third leading tourist destination in France;[224][225] this World Heritage site is noteworthy for its architectural heritage, in its historic towns but in particular its castles, such as the Châteaux d'Amboise, de Chambord, d'Ussé, de Villandry, Chenonceau and Montsoreau. The Château de Chantilly, Versailles and Vaux-le-Vicomte, all three located near Paris, are also visitor attractions.

Other protected areas

France has 37 sites inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage List and features cities of high cultural interest, beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, as well as rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity (green tourism). Small and picturesque French villages are promoted through the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France (literally "The Most Beautiful Villages of France"). The "Remarkable Gardens" label is a list of the over 200 gardens classified by the Ministry of Culture. This label is intended to protect and promote remarkable gardens and parks. France attracts many religious pilgrims on their way to St. James, or to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes-Pyrénées that hosts several million visitors a year.

Energy

Nuclear power plant in Cattenom, France four large cooling towers expelling white water vapor against a blue sky
France derives most of its electricity from nuclear power, the highest percentage in the world. Photograph of the Belleville Nuclear Power Plant

Électricité de France (EDF), the main electricity generation and distribution company in France, is also one of the world's largest producers of electricity. In 2018, it produced around 20% of the European Union's electricity,[226] primarily from nuclear power. France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the G7, due to its heavy investment in nuclear power.[227] As of 2016, 72% of the country's electricity is generated by 58 nuclear power plants, the highest proportion in the world.[228][229] In this context, renewable energies are having difficulty taking off. France also uses hydroelectric dams to produce electricity, such as the Eguzon dam, Étang de Soulcem and Lac de Vouglans.

Transport

A TGV Duplex crossing the Cize–Bolozon viaduct. The train can reach a maximum speed of 360 kilometres per hour (220 mph).

France's railway network, which stretches 29,473 kilometres (18,314 mi) as of 2008,[230] is the second most extensive in Western Europe after Germany.[231] It is operated by the SNCF, and high-speed trains include the Thalys, the Eurostar and TGV, which travels at 320 km/h (199 mph).[232] The Eurostar, along with the Eurotunnel Shuttle, connects with the United Kingdom through the Channel Tunnel. Rail connections exist to all other neighboring countries in Europe except Andorra. Intra-urban connections are also well developed, with most major cities having underground and/or tramway services complementing bus services.

There are approximately 1,027,183 kilometres (638,262 mi) of serviceable roadway in France, ranking it the most extensive network of the European continent.[233] The Paris region is enveloped with the most dense network of roads and highways, which connect it with virtually all parts of the country. French roads also handle substantial international traffic, connecting with cities in neighboring Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Andorra and Monaco. There is no annual registration fee or road tax; however, usage of the mostly privately owned motorways is through tolls except in the vicinity of large communes. The new car market is dominated by domestic brands such as Renault, Peugeot and Citroën.[234] France possesses the Millau Viaduct, the world's tallest bridge,[235] and has built many important bridges such as the Pont de Normandie. Diesel and gasoline fuelled cars and lorries cause a large part of the country's air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.[236][237]

Air France is one of the biggest airlines in the world.

There are 464 airports in France.[98] Charles de Gaulle Airport, located in the vicinity of Paris, is the largest and busiest airport in the country, handling the vast majority of popular and commercial traffic and connecting Paris with virtually all major cities across the world. Air France is the national carrier airline, although numerous private airline companies provide domestic and international travel services. There are ten major ports in France, the largest of which is in Marseille,[238] which also is the largest bordering the Mediterranean Sea.[239][240] 12,261 kilometres (7,619 mi) of waterways traverse France including the Canal du Midi, which connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean through the Garonne river.[98]

Science and technology

Ariane 5 rocket
France is in 2020 the biggest national financial contributor to the European Space Agency,[241] which conceived the Ariane rocket family, launched from French Guiana (Ariane 5 pictured).

Since the Middle Ages, France has been a major contributor to scientific and technological achievement. Around the beginning of the 11th century, Pope Sylvester II, born Gerbert d'Aurillac, reintroduced the abacus and armillary sphere, and introduced Arabic numerals and clocks to Northern and Western Europe.[242] The University of Paris, founded in the mid-12th century, is still one of the most important universities in the Western world.[243] In the 17th century, mathematician René Descartes defined a method for the acquisition of scientific knowledge, while Blaise Pascal became famous for his work on probability and fluid mechanics. They were both key figures of the Scientific Revolution, which blossomed in Europe during this period. The Academy of Sciences was founded by Louis XIV to encourage and protect the spirit of French scientific research. It was at the forefront of scientific developments in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries. It is one of the earliest academies of sciences.

The Age of Enlightenment was marked by the work of biologist Buffon and chemist Lavoisier, who discovered the role of oxygen in combustion, while Diderot and D'Alembert published the Encyclopédie, which aimed to give access to "useful knowledge" to the people, a knowledge that they can apply to their everyday life.[244] With the Industrial Revolution, the 19th century saw spectacular scientific developments in France with scientists such as Augustin Fresnel, founder of modern optics, Sadi Carnot who laid the foundations of thermodynamics, and Louis Pasteur, a pioneer of microbiology. Other eminent French scientists of the 19th century have their names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.

Famous French scientists of the 20th century include the mathematician and physicist Henri Poincaré; physicists Henri Becquerel, Pierre and Marie Curie, who remain famous for their work on radioactivity; physicist Paul Langevin; and virologist Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of HIV AIDS. Hand transplantation was developed in Lyon in 1998 by an international team that included Jean-Michel Dubernard, who afterward performed the first successful double hand transplant.[245] Telesurgery was developed by Jacques Marescaux and his team on 7 September 2001 across the Atlantic Ocean (New-York-Strasbourg, Lindbergh Operation).[246] A face transplant was first done on 27 November 2005 by Dr. Bernard Devauchelle.[247][248]

Top view of the ring of European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
The European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble

France was the fourth country to achieve nuclear capability[249] and has the third largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world;[250] it is also a leader in civilian nuclear technology.[251][252][253] France was the third nation, after the Soviet Union and the United States, to launch its own space satellite, and the first to establish a commercial launch service provider, Arianespace. France is a founding member of the European Space Agency (ESA), which is headquartered in Paris, and its leading contributor, providing over a quarter of its budget. ESA's principal spaceport is based in French Guiana, while its main launch vehicle is the French Ariane 5.[254][255][256] France's national space program, CNES, is the oldest, largest, and most active in Europe. France was ranked 12nd in the Global Innovation Index in 2020, up from 16th in 2019.[257][258][259][260]

The European Airbus, formed partly from the French group Aérospatiale, is the world's largest airline manufacturer, designs and develops civil and military aircraft as well as communications systems, missiles, space rockets, helicopters, satellites, and related systems. France also hosts major international research instruments such as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the Institut Laue–Langevin, and ITER, the latter being the world's biggest mega project. It is also a major member of CERN and owns Minatec, Europe's leading nanotechnology research center.

The SNCF, the French national railroad company, has developed the TGV, a high speed train which holds a series of world speed records. The TGV has been the fastest wheeled train in commercial use since reaching a speed of 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) on 3 April 2007.[261] Western Europe is now serviced by a network of TGV lines.

The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), the state research agency, is the largest research institute in Europe and among the most prominent internationally; it ranked fourth in the 2020 Nature Index for the share of articles published in scientific journals worldwide.[262] According to the same index, France as a whole had the sixth-highest share of articles published in scientific journals.[263]

As of 2018, 69 French people have been awarded a Nobel Prize[264] and 12 have received the Fields Medal.[265]

Demographics

Population density in France by arrondissement. The main urban areas are visible, notably the Paris (center-north), Lille (north), Marseille (southeast) and Lyon (center-southeast) urban areas.

With an estimated May 2021 population of 67.413 million people,[266] France is the 20th most populous country in the world, the third-most populous in Europe (after Russia and Germany), and the second most populous in the European Union (after Germany).

France is an outlier among developed countries, particularly in Europe, for its relatively high rate of natural population growth: By birth rates alone, it was responsible for almost all natural population growth in the European Union in 2006.[267] Between 2006 and 2016, France saw the second highest overall increase in population in the EU, and was one of only four EU countries where natural births accounted for most population growth.[268] This was the highest rate since the end of the baby boom in 1973, and coincides with the rise of the total fertility rate from a nadir of 1.7 in 1994 to 2.0 in 2010.

As of January 2021, the fertility rate declined slightly to 1.84 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1, and considerably below the high of 4.41 in 1800.[269][270][271][272] France's fertility rate and crude birth rate nonetheless remain among the highest in the EU. However, like many developed nations, the French population is aging; the average age is 41.7 years, while about a fifth of French people are 65 or over.[273] Average life expectancy at birth is 82.7 years, the 12th highest in the world.

From 2006 to 2011, population growth averaged 0.6 percent per year;[274] since 2011, annual growth has been between 0.4 and 0.5 percent annually.[275] Immigrants are major contributors to this trend; in 2010, 27 percent of newborns in metropolitan France had at least one foreign-born parent and another 24 percent had at least one parent born outside Europe (excluding French overseas territories).[276]

Ethnic groups

Most French people are of Celtic-Gallic origin, with a significant admixture of Italic (Romans) and Germanic (Franks) groups reflecting centuries of respective migration and settlement.[277] Through the course of the Middle Ages, France incorporated various neighboring ethnic and linguistic groups, as evidenced by Breton elements in the west, Aquitanian in the southwest, Scandinavian in the northwest, Alemannic in the northeast, and Ligurian in the southeast.

Large-scale immigration over the last century and a half has led to a more multicultural society; beginning with the French Revolution, and further codified in the French Constitution of 1958, the government is prohibited from collecting data on ethnicity and ancestry; most demographic information is drawn from private sector organisations or academic institutions. In 2004, the Institut Montaigne estimated that within Metropolitan France, 51 million people were White (85% of the population), 6 million were Northwest African (10%), 2 million were Black (3.3%), and 1 million were Asian (1.7%).[278][279]

A 2008 poll conducted jointly by INED and the French National Institute of Statistics[280][281] estimated that the largest ancestry groups were Italian (5 million), followed by Northwest African (3-6 million),[282][283][284] Sub-Saharan African (2.5 million), Armenian (500,000), and Turkish (200,000).[285] There are also sizable minorities of other European ethnic groups, namely Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Greek.[282][286][287] France has a significant Gitan (Romani) population, numbering between 20,000 and 400,000;[288] many foreign Roma are expelled back to Bulgaria and Romania frequently.[289]

Immigration

It is currently estimated that 40% of the French population is descended at least partially from the different waves of immigration since the early 20th century;[290] between 1921 and 1935 alone, about 1.1 million net immigrants came to France.[291] The next largest wave came in the 1960s, when around 1.6 million pieds noirs returned to France following the independence of its Northwest African possessions, Algeria and Morocco.[292][293] They were joined by numerous former colonial subjects from North and West Africa, as well as numerous European immigrants from Spain and Portugal.

France remains a major destination for immigrants, accepting about 200,000 legal immigrants annually.[294] In 2005, it was Western Europe's leading recipient of asylum seekers, with an estimated 50,000 applications (albeit 15% decrease from 2004).[295] In 2010, France received about 48,100 asylum applications—placing it among the top five asylum recipients in the world[296] and in subsequent years it saw the number of applications increase, ultimately doubling to 100,412 in 2017.[297] The European Union allows free movement between the member states, although France established controls to curb Eastern European migration,[citation needed] and immigration remains a contentious political issue.

In 2008, the INSEE (National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies) estimated that the total number of foreign-born immigrants was around 5 million (8% of the population), while their French-born descendants numbered 6.5 million, or 11% of the population. Thus, nearly a fifth of the country's population were either first or second-generation immigrants, of which more than 5 million were of European origin and 4 million of Maghrebi ancestry.[298][299][300] In 2008, France granted citizenship to 137,000 persons, mostly from Morocco, Algeria and Turkey.[301]

In 2014, an INSEE reported doubling of the number of Spanish immigrants, Portuguese and Italians in France between 2009 and 2012. According to the French Institute, this increase resulting from the financial crisis that hit several European countries in that period, has pushed up the number of Europeans installed in France.[302] Statistics on Spanish immigrants in France show a growth of 107 percent between 2009 and 2012, i.e. in this period went from 5,300 to 11,000 people.[302] Of the total of 229,000 foreigners who were in France in 2012, nearly 8% were Portuguese, 5% British, 5% Spanish, 4% Italians, 4% Germans, 3% Romanians, and 3% Belgians.[302]

Major cities

France is a highly urbanized country, with its largest cities (in terms of metropolitan area population in 2016[303]) being Paris (12,568,755 inh.), Lyon (2,310,850), Marseille (1,756,296), Toulouse (1,345,343), Bordeaux (1,232,550), Lille (1,187,824), Nice (1,006,402), Nantes (961,521), Strasbourg (785,839) and Rennes (727,357). (Note: There are significant differences between the metropolitan population figures just cited and those in the following table, which indicates the population of the communes). Rural flight was a perennial political issue throughout most of the 20th century.


Language

world map of French speaking countries
Map of the Francophone world:
  Native language
  Administrative language
  Secondary or non-official language
  Francophone minorities

According to Article 2 of the Constitution, the official language of France is French,[304] a Romance language derived from Latin. Since 1635, the Académie française has been France's official authority on the French language, although its recommendations carry no legal weight. There are also regional languages spoken in France, such as Occitan, Breton, Catalan, Flemish (Dutch dialect), Alsatian (German dialect), Basque, and Corsican. Italian was the official language of Corsica until 9 May 1859.[305]

The Government of France does not regulate the choice of language in publications by individuals but the use of French is required by law in commercial and workplace communications. In addition to mandating the use of French in the territory of the Republic, the French government tries to promote French in the European Union and globally through institutions such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. The perceived threat from anglicisation has prompted efforts to safeguard the position of the French language in France. Besides French, there exist 77 vernacular minority languages of France, eight spoken in French metropolitan territory and 69 in the French overseas territories.

From the 17th to the mid-20th century, French served as the pre-eminent international language of diplomacy and international affairs as well as a lingua franca among the educated classes of Europe.[306] The dominant position of French language in international affairs was overtaken by English, since the emergence of the United States as a major power.[59][307][308]

For most of the time in which French served as an international lingua franca, it was not the native language of most Frenchmen: a report in 1794 conducted by Henri Grégoire found that of the country's 25 million people, only three million spoke French natively; the rest spoke one of the country's many regional languages, such as Alsatian, Breton or Occitan.[309] Through the expansion of public education, in which French was the sole language of instruction, as well as other factors such as increased urbanisation and the rise of mass communication, French gradually came to be adopted by virtually the entire population, a process not completed until the 20th century.

As a result of France's extensive colonial ambitions between the 17th and 20th centuries, French was introduced to the Americas, Africa, Polynesia, South-East Asia, as well as the Caribbean. French is the second most studied foreign language in the world after English,[310] and is a lingua franca in some regions, notably in Africa. The legacy of French as a living language outside Europe is mixed: it is nearly extinct in some former French colonies (The Levant, South and Southeast Asia), while creoles and pidgins based on French have emerged in the French departments in the West Indies and the South Pacific (French Polynesia). On the other hand, many former French colonies have adopted French as an official language, and the total number of French speakers is increasing, especially in Africa.

It is estimated that between 300 million[311] and 500 million[312] people worldwide can speak French, either as a mother tongue or a second language.

According to the 2007 Adult Education survey, part of a project by the European Union and carried in France by the INSEE and based on a sample of 15,350 persons, French was the native language of 87.2% of the total population, or roughly 55.81 million people, followed by Arabic (3.6%, 2.3 million), Portuguese (1.5%, 960,000), Spanish (1.2%, 770,000) and Italian (1.0%, 640,000). Native speakers of other languages made up the remaining 5.2% of the population.[313]

Religion

Notre-Dame de Reims façade, gothic stone cathedral against blue sky
Notre-Dame de Reims is the Roman Catholic cathedral where the Kings of France were crowned until 1825.[XIV]

France is a secular country in which freedom of religion is a constitutional right. French religious policy is based on the concept of laïcité, a strict separation of church and state under which public life is kept completely secular.

According to a survey held in 2016 by Institut Montaigne and Institut français d'opinion publique (IFOP), 51.1% of the total population of France was Christian, 39.6% had no religion (atheism or agnosticism), 5.6% were Muslims, 2.5% were followers of other faiths, and the remaining 0.4% were undecided about their faith.[314] Estimates of the number of Muslims in France vary widely. In 2003, the French Ministry of the Interior estimated the total number of people of Muslim background to be between 5 and 6 million (8–10%).[315][316] The current Jewish community in France is the largest in Europe and the third-largest in the world after Israel and the United States, ranging between 480,000 and 600,000, about 0.8% of the population as of 2016.[314]

Catholicism has been the predominant religion in France for more than a millennium, though it is not as actively practised today as it was. Among the 47,000 religious buildings in France, 94% are Roman Catholic.[317] During the French Revolution, activists conducted a brutal campaign of de-Christianisation, ending the Catholic Church as the state religion. In some cases clergy and churches were attacked, with iconoclasm stripping the churches of statues and ornaments. After alternating between royal and secular republican governments during the 19th century, in 1905 France passed the 1905 law on the Separation of the Churches and the State, which established the principle of laïcité.[318]

To this day, the government is prohibited from recognizing any specific right to a religious community (except for legacy statutes like those of military chaplains and the local law in Alsace-Moselle). It recognizes religious organisations according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. Conversely, religious organisations are expected to refrain from intervening in policy-making.[319] Certain groups, such as Scientology, Children of God, the Unification Church, and the Order of the Solar Temple are considered cults ("sectes" in French), and therefore do not have the same status as recognized religions in France.[320] Secte is considered a pejorative term in France.[321]

Health

Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital in Paris, stone building with slate dome
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, a teaching hospital in Paris, is one of Europe's largest hospitals.[322]

The French health care system is one of universal health care largely financed by government national health insurance. In its 2000 assessment of world health care systems, the World Health Organization found that France provided the "close to best overall health care" in the world.[323] The French healthcare system was ranked first worldwide by the World Health Organization in 1997.[324][325] In 2011, France spent 11.6% of GDP on health care, or US$4,086 per capita,[326] a figure much higher than the average spent by countries in Europe but less than in the United States. Approximately 77% of health expenditures are covered by government funded agencies.[327]

Care is generally free for people affected by chronic diseases (affections de longues durées) such as cancer, AIDS or cystic fibrosis. Average life expectancy at birth is 78 years for men and 85 years for women, one of the highest of the European Union and the World.[328][329] There are 3.22 physicians for every 1000 inhabitants in France,[330] and average health care spending per capita was US$4,719 in 2008.[331] As of 2007, approximately 140,000 inhabitants (0.4%) of France are living with HIV/AIDS.[98]

Even if the French have the reputation of being one of the thinnest people in developed countries,[332][333][334][335][336] France—like other rich countries—faces an increasing and recent epidemic of obesity, due mostly to the replacement in French eating habits of traditional healthy French cuisine by junk food.[337][332][333][338] The French obesity rate is still far below that of the United States—currently equal to American rate in the 1970s—and is still the lowest of Europe.[333][335][338] Authorities now regard obesity as one of the main public health issues and fight it fiercely.[339] Rates of childhood obesity are slowing in France, while continuing to grow in other countries.[340]

Education

The École normale supérieure (ENS) in Paris, established in the end of the 18th century, produces more Nobel Prize laureates per capita than any other institution in the world.[341]

In 1802, Napoleon created the lycée, the second and final stage of secondary education that prepares students for higher education studies or a profession.[342] Nevertheless, Jules Ferry is considered the father of the French modern school, leading reforms in the late 19th century that established free, secular, and compulsory education (currently mandatory until the age of 16).[343][344]

French education is centralized and divided into three stages: Primary, secondary, and higher education. The Programme for International Student Assessment, coordinated by the OECD, ranked France's education as below OECD average in 2018.[345] Primary and secondary education are predominantly public, run by the Ministry of National Education. While training and remuneration of teachers and the curriculum are the responsibility of the state centrally, the management of primary and secondary schools is overseen by local authorities. Primary education comprises two phases, nursery school (école maternelle) and elementary school (école élémentaire). Nursery school aims to stimulate the minds of very young children and promote their socialization and development of a basic grasp of language and number. Around the age of six, children transfer to elementary school, whose primary objectives are learning about writing, arithmetic and citizenship. Secondary education also consists of two phases. The first is delivered through colleges (collège) and leads to the national certificate (Diplôme national du brevet). The second is offered in high schools (lycée) and finishes in national exams leading to a baccalaureate (baccalauréat, available in professional, technical or general flavors) or certificate of professional competence (certificat d'aptitude professionelle).

Higher education is divided between public universities and the prestigious and selective Grandes écoles, such as Sciences Po Paris for Political studies, HEC Paris for Economics, Polytechnique, the École des hautes études en sciences sociales for Social studies and the École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris that produce high-profile engineers, or the École nationale d'administration for careers in the Grands Corps of the state. The Grandes écoles have been criticized for alleged elitism, producing many if not most of France's high-ranking civil servants, CEOs, and politicians.[346]

Culture

Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People (1830) portrays the July Revolution using the stylistic views of Romanticism. Since Liberty is part of the motto "Liberté, égalité, fraternité", as the French put it, this painting has become the primary symbol of the French Republic.

France has been a centre of Western cultural development for centuries. Many French artists have been among the most renowned of their time; France is still recognised in the world for its rich cultural tradition.[347]

The successive political regimes have always promoted artistic creation. The creation of the Ministry of Culture in 1959 helped preserve the cultural heritage of the country and make it available to the public. The Ministry of Culture has been very active since its creation, granting subsidies to artists, promoting French culture in the world, supporting festivals and cultural events, protecting historical monuments. The French government also succeeded in maintaining a cultural exception to defend audiovisual products made in the country.[348]

France receives the highest number of tourists per year, largely thanks to the numerous cultural establishments and historical buildings implanted all over the territory. It counts 1,200 museums welcoming more than 50 million people annually.[349] The most important cultural sites are run by the government, for instance through the public agency Centre des monuments nationaux, which is responsible for approximately 85 national historical monuments. The 43,180 buildings protected as historical monuments include mainly residences (many castles) and religious buildings (cathedrals, basilicas, churches), but also statues, memorials and gardens. The UNESCO inscribed 45 sites in France on the World Heritage List.[350]

Art

The Louvre Museum, widely recognized as one of the finest art museums in the world, was in 2019 both the largest and the most-visited museum in the world.[351]

The origins of French art were very much influenced by Flemish art and by Italian art at the time of the Renaissance. Jean Fouquet, the most famous medieval French painter, is said to have been the first to travel to Italy and experience the Early Renaissance at first hand. The Renaissance painting School of Fontainebleau was directly inspired by Italian painters such as Primaticcio and Rosso Fiorentino, who both worked in France. Two of the most famous French artists of the time of Baroque era, Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, lived in Italy.

Claude Monet, founder of the Impressionist movement

The 17th century was the period when French painting became prominent and individualised itself through classicism. Prime Minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert founded in 1648 the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture under Louis XIV to protect these artists; in 1666 he also created the still-active French Academy in Rome to have direct relations with Italian artists.

French artists developed the rococo style in the 18th century, as a more intimate imitation of old baroque style, the works of the court-endorsed artists Antoine Watteau, François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard being the most representative in the country. The French Revolution brought great changes, as Napoleon favoured artists of neoclassic style such as Jacques-Louis David and the highly influential Académie des Beaux-Arts defined the style known as Academism. At this time France had become a centre of artistic creation, the first half of the 19th century being dominated by two successive movements, at first Romanticism with Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix, then Realism with Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet and Jean-François Millet, a style that eventually evolved into Naturalism.

In the second part of the 19th century, France's influence over painting became even more important, with the development of new styles of painting such as Impressionism and Symbolism. The most famous impressionist painters of the period were Camille Pissarro, Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir.[352] The second generation of impressionist-style painters, Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Georges Seurat, were also at the avant-garde of artistic evolutions,[353] as well as the fauvist artists Henri Matisse, André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck.[354][355]

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cubism was developed by Georges Braque and the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, living in Paris. Other foreign artists also settled and worked in or near Paris, such as Vincent van Gogh, Marc Chagall, Amedeo Modigliani and Wassily Kandinsky.

Many museums in France are entirely or partly devoted to sculptures and painting works. A huge collection of old masterpieces created before or during the 18th century are displayed in the state-owned Musée du Louvre, such as the Mona Lisa, also known as "La Joconde". While the Louvre Palace has been for a long time a museum, the Musée d'Orsay was inaugurated in 1986 in the old railway station Gare d'Orsay, in a major reorganisation of national art collections, to gather French paintings from the second part of the 19th century (mainly Impressionism and Fauvism movements).[356][357] The musée d'Orsay was voted in 2018 the best museum in the world.[358]

Modern works are presented in the Musée National d'Art Moderne, which moved in 1976 to the Centre Georges Pompidou. These three state-owned museums welcome close to 17 million people a year.[359] Other national museums hosting paintings include the Grand Palais (1.3 million visitors in 2008), but there are also many museums owned by cities, the most visited being the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (0.8 million entries in 2008), which hosts contemporary works.[359] Outside Paris, all the large cities have a Museum of Fine Arts with a section dedicated to European and French painting. Some of the finest collections are in Lyon, Lille, Rouen, Dijon, Rennes and Grenoble.

Architecture

Sainte Chapelle interior showing painted stonework vaulting and stained glass
Saint Louis's Sainte-Chapelle represents the French impact on religious architecture.

During the Middle Ages, many fortified castles were built by feudal nobles to mark their powers. Some French castles that survived are Chinon, Château d'Angers, the massive Château de Vincennes and the so-called Cathar castles. During this era, France had been using Romanesque architecture like most of Western Europe. Some of the greatest examples of Romanesque churches in France are the Saint Sernin Basilica in Toulouse, the largest romanesque church in Europe,[360] and the remains of the Cluniac Abbey.

The Gothic architecture, originally named Opus Francigenum meaning "French work",[361] was born in Île-de-France and was the first French style of architecture to be copied in all Europe.[362] Northern France is the home of some of the most important Gothic cathedrals and basilicas, the first of these being the Saint Denis Basilica (used as the royal necropolis); other important French Gothic cathedrals are Notre-Dame de Chartres and Notre-Dame d'Amiens. The kings were crowned in another important Gothic church: Notre-Dame de Reims.[363] Aside from churches, Gothic Architecture had been used for many religious palaces, the most important one being the Palais des Papes in Avignon.

The final victory in the Hundred Years' War marked an important stage in the evolution of French architecture. It was the time of the French Renaissance and several artists from Italy were invited to the French court; many residential palaces were built in the Loire Valley, from 1450 with as a first reference the Château de Montsoreau.[364] Such residential castles were the Château de Chambord, the Château de Chenonceau, or the Château d'Amboise.

Following the renaissance and the end of the Middle Ages, Baroque architecture replaced the traditional Gothic style. However, in France, baroque architecture found a greater success in the secular domain than in a religious one.[365] In the secular domain, the Palace of Versailles has many baroque features. Jules Hardouin Mansart, who designed the extensions to Versailles, was one of the most influential French architect of the baroque era; he is famous for his dome at Les Invalides.[366] Some of the most impressive provincial baroque architecture is found in places that were not yet French such as the Place Stanislas in Nancy. On the military architectural side, Vauban designed some of the most efficient fortresses in Europe and became an influential military architect; as a result, imitations of his works can be found all over Europe, the Americas, Russia and Turkey.[367][368]

After the Revolution, the Republicans favoured Neoclassicism although it was introduced in France prior to the revolution with such buildings as the Parisian Pantheon or the Capitole de Toulouse. Built during the first French Empire, the Arc de Triomphe and Sainte Marie-Madeleine represent the best example of Empire style architecture.[369]

Under Napoleon III, a new wave of urbanism and architecture was given birth; extravagant buildings such as the neo-baroque Palais Garnier were built. The urban planning of the time was very organised and rigorous; for example, Haussmann's renovation of Paris. The architecture associated to this era is named Second Empire in English, the term being taken from the Second French Empire. At this time there was a strong Gothic resurgence across Europe and in France; the associated architect was Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. In the late 19th century, Gustave Eiffel designed many bridges, such as Garabit viaduct, and remains one of the most influential bridge designers of his time, although he is best remembered for the iconic Eiffel Tower.

The City hall of Toulouse
The Capitole de Toulouse hosts Toulouse City Hall.

In the 20th century, French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier designed several buildings in France. More recently, French architects have combined both modern and old architectural styles. The Louvre Pyramid is an example of modern architecture added to an older building. The most difficult buildings to integrate within French cities are skyscrapers, as they are visible from afar. For instance, in Paris, since 1977, new buildings had to be under 37 metres (121 ft).[370] France's largest financial district is La Defense, where a significant number of skyscrapers are located.[371] Other massive buildings that are a challenge to integrate into their environment are large bridges; an example of the way this has been done is the Millau Viaduct. Some famous modern French architects include Jean Nouvel, Dominique Perrault, Christian de Portzamparc or Paul Andreu.

Literature

The earliest French literature dates from the Middle Ages, when what is now known as modern France did not have a single, uniform language. There were several languages and dialects, and writers used their own spelling and grammar. Some authors of French medieval texts are unknown, such as Tristan and Iseult and Lancelot-Grail. Other authors are known, for example Chrétien de Troyes and Duke William IX of Aquitaine, who wrote in Occitan.

Much medieval French poetry and literature were inspired by the legends of the Matter of France, such as The Song of Roland and the various chansons de geste. The Roman de Renart, written in 1175 by Perrout de Saint Cloude, tells the story of the medieval character Reynard ('the Fox') and is another example of early French writing. An important 16th-century writer was François Rabelais, whose novel Gargantua and Pantagruel has remained famous and appreciated until now. Michel de Montaigne was the other major figure of the French literature during that century. His most famous work, Essais, created the literary genre of the essay.[372] French poetry during that century was embodied by Pierre de Ronsard and Joachim du Bellay. Both writers founded the La Pléiade literary movement.

During the 17th century, Madame de La Fayette published anonymously La Princesse de Clèves, a novel that is considered to be one of the first psychological novels of all time.[373] Jean de La Fontaine is one of the most famous fabulists of that time, as he wrote hundreds of fables, some being far more famous than others, such as The Ant and the Grasshopper. Generations of French pupils had to learn his fables, that were seen as helping teaching wisdom and common sense to the young people. Some of his verses have entered the popular language to become proverbs, such as "À l'œuvre, on connaît l'artisan."[A workman is known by his chips].[374]

see description
French literary figures. Clockwise from top left: Molière is the most played author in the Comédie-Française;[375] Victor Hugo is one of the most important French novelists and poets; 19th-century poet, writer and translator Charles Baudelaire; 20th-century philosopher and novelist Jean-Paul Sartre

Jean Racine, whose incredible mastery of the alexandrine and of the French language has been praised for centuries, created plays such as Phèdre or Britannicus. He is, along with Pierre Corneille (Le Cid) and Molière, considered one of the three great dramatists of France's golden age. Molière, who is deemed to be one of the greatest masters of comedy of the Western literature,[376] wrote dozens of plays, including Le Misanthrope, L'Avare, Le Malade imaginaire, as well as Le Bourgeois gentilhomme. His plays have been so popular around the world that French language is sometimes dubbed as "the language of Molière" (la langue de Molière),[377] just like English is considered "the language of Shakespeare".

French literature and poetry flourished even more in the 18th and 19th centuries. Denis Diderot's best-known works are Jacques the Fatalist and Rameau's Nephew. He is however best known for being the main redactor of the Encyclopédie, whose aim was to sum up all the knowledge of his century (in fields such as arts, sciences, languages, and philosophy) and to present them to the people, to fight ignorance and obscurantism. During that same century, Charles Perrault was a prolific writer of famous children's fairy tales including Puss in Boots, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Bluebeard. At the start of the 19th century, symbolist poetry was an important movement in French literature, with poets such as Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Stéphane Mallarmé.[378]

The 19th century saw the writings of many renowned French authors. Victor Hugo is sometimes seen as "the greatest French writer of all time"[379] for excelling in all literary genres. The preface of his play Cromwell is considered to be the manifesto of the Romantic movement. Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles are considered "poetic masterpieces",[380] Hugo's verse having been compared to that of Shakespeare, Dante and Homer.[380] His novel Les Misérables is widely seen as one of the greatest novel ever written[381] and The Hunchback of Notre Dame has remained immensely popular.

Other major authors of that century include Alexandre Dumas (The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte-Cristo), Jules Verne (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea), Émile Zola (Les Rougon-Macquart), Honoré de Balzac (La Comédie humaine), Guy de Maupassant, Théophile Gautier and Stendhal (The Red and the Black, The Charterhouse of Parma), whose works are among the most well known in France and the world. The Prix Goncourt is a French literary prize first awarded in 1903.[382] Important writers of the 20th century include Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Albert Camus, and Jean-Paul Sartre. Antoine de Saint Exupéry wrote Little Prince, which has remained popular for decades with children and adults around the world.[383] As of 2014, French authors had more Literature Nobel Prizes than those of any other nation.[384] The first Nobel Prize in Literature was a French author, while France's latest Nobel prize in literature is Patrick Modiano, who was awarded the prize in 2014.[384] Jean-Paul Sartre was also the first nominee in the committee's history to refuse the prize in 1964.[384]

Philosophy

Medieval philosophy was dominated by Scholasticism until the emergence of Humanism in the Renaissance. Modern philosophy began in France in the 17th century with the philosophy of René Descartes, Blaise Pascal and Nicolas Malebranche. Descartes was the first Western philosopher since ancient times to attempt to build a philosophical system from the ground up rather than building on the work of predecessors."[385][386] His Meditations on First Philosophy changed the primary object of philosophical thought and raised some of the most fundamental problems for foreigners such as Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Berkeley, and Kant.

French philosophers produced some of the most important political works of the Age of Enlightenment. In The Spirit of the Laws, Baron de Montesquieu theorised the principle of separation of powers, which has been implemented in all liberal democracies since it was first applied in the United States. Voltaire came to embody the Enlightenment with his defence of civil liberties, such as the right to a free trial and freedom of religion.

19th-century French thought was targeted at responding to the social malaise following the French Revolution. Rationalist philosophers such as Victor Cousin and Auguste Comte, who called for a new social doctrine, were opposed by reactionary thinkers such as Joseph de Maistre, Louis de Bonald and Félicité Robert de Lamennais, who blamed the rationalist rejection of traditional order. De Maistre, together with the Englishman Edmund Burke, was one of the founders of European conservatism. Comte was the founder of positivism, which Émile Durkheim reformulated as a basis for social research.

In the 20th century, partly as a reaction to the perceived excesses of positivism, French spiritualism thrived with thinkers such as Henri Bergson and it influenced American pragmatism and Whitehead's version of process philosophy. Meanwhile, French epistemology became a prominent school of thought with Jules Henri Poincaré, Gaston Bachelard, Jean Cavaillès and Jules Vuillemin. Influenced by German phenomenology and existentialism, the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre gained a strong influence after World War II, and late-20th-century-France became the cradle of postmodern philosophy with Jean-François Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault.

Music

France has a long and varied musical history. It experienced a golden age in the 17th century thanks to Louis XIV, who employed a number of talented musicians and composers in the royal court. The most renowned composers of this period include Marc-Antoine Charpentier, François Couperin, Michel-Richard Delalande, Jean-Baptiste Lully and Marin Marais, all of them composers at the court. After the death of the "Roi Soleil", French musical creation lost dynamism, but in the next century the music of Jean-Philippe Rameau reached some prestige, and today he is still one of the most renowned French composers. Rameau became the dominant composer of French opera and the leading French composer for the harpsichord.[388][full citation needed]

French composers played an important role during the music of the 19th and early 20th century, which is considered to be the Romantic music era. Romantic music emphasised a surrender to nature, a fascination with the past and the supernatural, the exploration of unusual, strange and surprising sounds, and a focus on national identity. This period was also a golden age for operas. French composers from the Romantic era included: Hector Berlioz (best known for his Symphonie fantastique), Georges Bizet (best known for Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed operas), Gabriel Fauré (best known for his Pavane, Requiem, and nocturnes), Charles Gounod (best known for his Ave Maria and his opera Faust), Jacques Offenbach (best known for his 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann), Édouard Lalo (best known for his Symphonie espagnole for violin and orchestra and his Cello Concerto in D minor), Jules Massenet (best known for his operas, of which he wrote more than thirty, the most frequently staged are Manon (1884) and Werther (1892)) and Camille Saint-Saëns (he has many frequently-performed works, including The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah (Opera), Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso and his Symphony No. 3).

Later came precursors of modern classical music. Érik Satie was a key member of the early-20th-century Parisian avant-garde, best known for his Gymnopédies. Francis Poulenc's best known works are his piano suite Trois mouvements perpétuels (1919), the ballet Les biches (1923), the Concert champêtre (1928) for harpsichord and orchestra, the opera Dialogues des Carmélites (1957) and the Gloria (1959) for soprano, choir and orchestra. Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy are the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music. Debussy was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his use of non-traditional scales and chromaticism influenced many composers who followed.[389] Debussy's music is noted for its sensory content and frequent usage of atonality. The two composers invented new musical forms[390][391][392][393] and new sounds. Ravel's piano compositions, such as Jeux d'eau, Miroirs, Le tombeau de Couperin and Gaspard de la nuit, demand considerable virtuosity. His mastery of orchestration is evident in the Rapsodie espagnole, Daphnis et Chloé, his arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition and his orchestral work Boléro (1928). More recently, the middle of the 20th century, Maurice Ohana, Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Boulez contributed to the evolutions of contemporary classical music.[394]

head shot of Serge Gainsbourg
Serge Gainsbourg, one of the world's most influential popular musicians

French music then followed the rapid emergence of pop and rock music at the middle of the 20th century. Although English-speaking creations achieved popularity in the country, French pop music, known as chanson française, has also remained very popular. Among the most important French artists of the century are Édith Piaf, Georges Brassens, Léo Ferré, Charles Aznavour and Serge Gainsbourg.[395] Although there are very few rock bands in France compared to English-speaking countries,[396] bands such as Noir Désir, Mano Negra, Niagara, Les Rita Mitsouko and more recently Superbus, Phoenix and Gojira,[397] or Shaka Ponk, have reached worldwide popularity.

Daft Punk, pioneers of the French house movement

Other French artists with international careers have been popular in several countries, most notably female singers Dalida, Mireille Mathieu, Mylène Farmer,[397] Alizée and Nolwenn Leroy,[398] electronic music pioneers Jean-Michel Jarre, Laurent Garnier and Bob Sinclar, later Martin Solveig and David Guetta. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), electronic duos Daft Punk, Justice and Air also reached worldwide popularity and contributed to the reputation of modern electronic music in the world.[397][399][400]

Among current musical events and institutions in France, many are dedicated to classical music and operas. The most prestigious institutions are the state-owned Paris National Opera (with its two sites Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille), the Opéra National de Lyon, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux. As for music festivals, there are several events organised, the most popular being Eurockéennes (a word play which sounds in French as "European"), Solidays and Rock en Seine. The Fête de la Musique, imitated by many foreign cities, was first launched by the French Government in 1982.[401][402] Major music halls and venues in France include Le Zénith sites present in many cities and other places in Paris (Paris Olympia, Théâtre Mogador, Élysée Montmartre).

Cinema

Louis de Funès, often called "France's favourite actor", has played over 130 roles in film and over 100 on stage.[406]

France has historical and strong links with cinema, with two Frenchmen, Auguste and Louis Lumière (known as the Lumière Brothers) credited with creating cinema in 1895.[407] The world's first female filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blaché, was also from France.[408] Several important cinematic movements, including the late 1950s and 1960s Nouvelle Vague, began in the country. It is noted for having a strong film industry, due in part to protections afforded by the Government of France. France remains a leader in filmmaking, as of 2015 producing more films than any other European country.[409][410] The nation also hosts the Cannes Festival, one of the most important and famous film festivals in the world.[411][412]

Apart from its strong and innovative film tradition, France has also been a gathering spot for artists from across Europe and the world. For this reason, French cinema is sometimes intertwined with the cinema of foreign nations. Directors from nations such as Poland (Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Andrzej Żuławski), Argentina (Gaspar Noé, Edgardo Cozarinsky), Russia (Alexandre Alexeieff, Anatole Litvak), Austria (Michael Haneke) and Georgia (Géla Babluani, Otar Iosseliani) are prominent in the ranks of French cinema. Conversely, French directors have had prolific and influential careers in other countries, such as Luc Besson, Jacques Tourneur or Francis Veber in the United States.

Although the French film market is dominated by Hollywood, France is the only nation in the world where American films make up the smallest share of total film revenues, at 50%, compared with 77% in Germany and 69% in Japan.[413] French films account for 35% of the total film revenues of France, which is the highest percentage of national film revenues in the developed world outside the United States, compared to 14% in Spain and 8% in the UK.[413] France is in 2013 the 2nd exporter of films in the world after the United States.[414]

France historically was the cultural center of the world,[306] although its dominant position has been surpassed by the United States. Today, France takes steps in protecting and promoting its culture, becoming a leading advocate of the cultural exception.[415] The nation succeeded in convincing all EU members to refuse to include culture and audiovisuals in the list of liberalised sectors of the WTO in 1993.[416] Moreover, this decision was confirmed in a voting in the UNESCO in 2005: the principle of "cultural exception" won an overwhelming victory with 198 countries voting for it and only 2 countries, the United States and Israel, voting against.[417]

Fashion

Chanel's headquarters storefront window at the Place Vendôme Paris with awning
Chanel's headquarters on the Place Vendôme, Paris

Fashion has been an important industry and cultural export of France since the 17th century, and modern "haute couture" originated in Paris in the 1860s. Today, Paris, along with London, Milan, and New York City, is considered one of the world's fashion capitals, and the city is home or headquarters to many of the premier fashion houses. The expression Haute couture is, in France, a legally protected name, guaranteeing certain quality standards.

The association of France with fashion and style (French: la mode) dates largely to the reign of Louis XIV[418] when the luxury goods industries in France came increasingly under royal control and the French royal court became, arguably, the arbiter of taste and style in Europe. But France renewed its dominance of the high fashion (French: couture or haute couture) industry in the years 1860–1960 through the establishing of the great couturier houses such as Chanel, Dior, and Givenchy. The French perfume industry is world leader in its sector and is centered on the town of Grasse.[419]

In the 1960s, the elitist "Haute couture" came under criticism from France's youth culture. In 1966, the designer Yves Saint Laurent broke with established Haute Couture norms by launching a prêt-à-porter ("ready to wear") line and expanding French fashion into mass manufacturing. With a greater focus on marketing and manufacturing, new trends were established by Sonia Rykiel, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix in the 1970s and 1980s. The 1990s saw a conglomeration of many French couture houses under luxury giants and multinationals such as LVMH.

According to 2017 data compiled by Deloitte, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH), a French brand, is the largest luxury company in the world by sales, selling more than twice the amount of its nearest competitor.[420] Moreover, France also possesses 3 of the top 10 luxury goods companies by sales (LVMH, Kering SA, L'Oréal), more than any other country in the world.[420]

Media

The Parisian headquarters of Agence France-Presse, one of the world's oldest and leading news agencies[421]

Best-selling daily national newspapers in France are Le Parisien Aujourd'hui en France (with 460,000 sold daily), Le Monde and Le Figaro, with around 300,000 copies sold daily, but also L'Équipe, dedicated to sports coverage.[422] In the past years, free dailies made a breakthrough, with Metro, 20 Minutes and Direct Plus distributed at more than 650,000 copies respectively.[423] However, the widest circulations are reached by regional daily Ouest France with more than 750,000 copies sold, and the 50 other regional papers have also high sales.[424][425] The sector of weekly magazines is stronger and diversified with more than 400 specialized weekly magazines published in the country.[426]

The most influential news magazines are the left-wing Le Nouvel Observateur, centrist L'Express and right-wing Le Point (more than 400.000 copies),[427] but the highest circulation for weeklies is reached by TV magazines and by women's magazines, among them Marie Claire and ELLE, which have foreign versions. Influential weeklies also include investigative and satirical papers Le Canard Enchaîné and Charlie Hebdo, as well as Paris Match. Like in most industrialized nations, the print media have been affected by a severe crisis in the past decade. In 2008, the government launched a major initiative to help the sector reform and become financially independent,[428][429] but in 2009 it had to give 600,000 euros to help the print media cope with the economic crisis, in addition to existing subsidies.[430]

masthead of Le Figaro newspaper
Le Figaro was founded in 1826; many of France's most prominent authors have written in its columns over the decades, and it is still considered a newspaper of record.[431]

In 1974, after years of centralised monopoly on radio and television, the governmental agency ORTF was split into several national institutions, but the three already-existing TV channels and four national radio stations[432][433] remained under state-control. It was only in 1981 that the government allowed free broadcasting in the territory, ending state monopoly on radio.[433] French television was partly liberalized in the next two-decade with the creation of several commercial channels, mainly thanks to cable and satellite television. In 2005 the national service Télévision Numérique Terrestre introduced digital television all over the territory, allowing the creation of other channels.

The four existing national channels are owned by state-owned consortium France Télévisions, funded by advertising revenue and TV licence fees. Public broadcasting group Radio France run five national radio stations. Among these public media are Radio France Internationale, which broadcasts programs in French all over the world, and Franco-German TV channel TV5 Monde. In 2006, the government created global news channel France 24. Long-established TV channels TF1 (privatized in 1987), France 2 and France 3 have the highest shares, while radio stations RTL, Europe 1 and state-owned France Inter are the least listened to.

Society

Sculpture of Marianne, a common national personification of the French Republic

According to a BBC poll in 2010, based on 29,977 responses in 28 countries, France is globally seen as a positive influence in the world's affairs: 49% have a positive view of the country's influence, whereas 19% have a negative view.[434][435] The Nation Brand Index of 2008 suggested that France has the second best international reputation, only behind Germany.[436] A global opinion poll for the BBC saw France ranked the fourth most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany, Canada and the United Kingdom) in 2014.[437]

According to a poll in 2011, the French were found to have the highest level of religious tolerance and to be the country where the highest proportion of the population defines its identity primarily in term of nationality and not religion.[438] As of 2011, 75% of French had a favourable view of the United States, making France one of the most pro-American countries in the world.[439] As of 2017, the favourable view of the United States had dropped to 46%.[440] In January 2010, the magazine International Living ranked France as "best country to live in", ahead of 193 other countries, for the fifth year running.[441]

The OECD Better Life Index states that "France performs well in many measures of well-being relative to most other countries in the Better Life Index."[442]

The French Revolution continues to permeate the country's collective memory. The tricolour flag of France,[443] the anthem "La Marseillaise", and the motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, defined in Title 1 of the Constitution as national symbols, all emerged during the cultural ferment of the early revolution, along with Marianne, a common national personification. In addition, Bastille Day, the national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789.[444]

A common and traditional symbol of the French people is the Gallic rooster. Its origins date back to Antiquity, since the Latin word Gallus meant both "rooster" and "inhabitant of Gaul". Then this figure gradually became the most widely shared representation of the French, used by French monarchs, then by the Revolution and under the successive republican regimes as representation of the national identity, used for some stamps and coins.[445]

French flags displayed on the Champs Elysées after France's victory at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The French Tricolore is enshrined in the French Constitution as the national emblem of the French Republic.[446]

France is one of the world leaders of gender equality in the workplace: as of 2017, it has 36.8% of its corporate board seats held by women, which makes it the leader of the G20 for that metric;[447] and was ranked in 2019 by the World Bank as one of the only 6 countries in the world where women have the same work rights as men.[448]

France is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to LGBT rights: a 2020 Pew Research Center poll found that 86% of the French think that same-sex relationships should be accepted by society, one of the highest acceptance rates in the world (comparable to that of other Western European nations).[449] France legalized same-sex marriage and adoption in 2013.[450] The government has used its diplomatic clout to support LGBT rights throughout the world, notably in the United Nations.[451]

In 2020, France was ranked 5th in the Environmental Performance Index (behind the United Kingdom), out of 180 countries ranked by Yale University in that study.[452] Being the host country of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference, the French government was instrumental in securing the 2015 Paris agreement, a success that has been credited to its "openness and experience in diplomacy".[453]

Cuisine

French wines are usually made to accompany French cuisine.

French cuisine is renowned for being one of the finest in the world.[454][455] According to the regions, traditional recipes are different, the North of the country prefers to use butter as the preferred fat for cooking, whereas olive oil is more commonly used in the South.[456] Moreover, each region of France has iconic traditional specialties: Cassoulet in the Southwest, Choucroute in Alsace, Quiche in the Lorraine region, Beef bourguignon in the Bourgogne, provençal Tapenade, etc. France's most renowned products are wines,[457] including Champagne, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, and Beaujolais as well as a large variety of different cheeses, such as Camembert, Roquefort and Brie. There are more than 400 different varieties.[458][459]

A meal often consists of three courses, hors d'œuvre or entrée (introductory course, sometimes soup), plat principal (main course), fromage (cheese course) or dessert, sometimes with a salad offered before the cheese or dessert. Hors d'œuvres could include terrine de saumon au basilic, lobster bisque, foie gras, French onion soup or a croque monsieur. The plat principal could include a pot au feu or steak frites. The dessert could be mille-feuille pastry, a macaron, an éclair, crème brûlée, mousse au chocolat, crêpes, or Café liégeois.

Some French cheeses with fruits

French cuisine is also regarded as a key element of the quality of life and the attractiveness of France.[441] A French publication, the Michelin guide, awards Michelin stars for excellence to a select few establishments.[460][461] The acquisition or loss of a star can have dramatic effects on the success of a restaurant. By 2006, the Michelin Guide had awarded 620 stars to French restaurants, at that time more than any other country, although the guide also inspects more restaurants in France than in any other country (by 2010, Japan was awarded as many Michelin stars as France, despite having half the number of Michelin inspectors working there).[462][463]

In addition to its wine tradition, France is also a major producer of beer and rum. The three main French brewing regions are Alsace (60% of national production), Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Lorraine. France produces rum via distilleries located on islands such as Reunion Island in the southern Indian Ocean.

Sports

The peloton in the streets of Nice during the 2nd stage of the Tour de France on 30 August 2020
Starting in 1903, the Tour de France is the oldest and most prestigious of Grands Tours, and the world's most famous cycling race.[464]

France hosts "the world's biggest annual sporting event", the Tour de France,[465] and other popular sports played in France include: football, judo, tennis,[466] rugby union[467] and pétanque. France has hosted events such as the 1938 and 1998 FIFA World Cups,[468] the 2007 Rugby World Cup,[469] and will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup. The country also hosted the 1960 European Nations' Cup, UEFA Euro 1984, UEFA Euro 2016 and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. The Stade de France in Saint-Denis is France's largest stadium and was the venue for the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2007 Rugby World Cup finals. Since 1903, France is famous for its 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car endurance race.[470] Several major tennis tournaments take place in France, including the Paris Masters and the French Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. French martial arts include Savate and Fencing.

Pierre de Coubertin, father of the modern Olympic Games

France has a close association with the Modern Olympic Games; it was a French aristocrat, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who suggested the Games' revival, at the end of the 19th century.[471][472] After Athens was awarded the first Games, in reference to the Olympics' Greek origins, Paris hosted the second Games in 1900.[473] Paris was the first home of the International Olympic Committee, before it moved to Lausanne.[474] Since 1900, France has hosted the Olympics on 4 further occasions: the 1924 Summer Olympics, again in Paris[472] and three Winter Games (1924 in Chamonix, 1968 in Grenoble and 1992 in Albertville).[472]

Similar to the Olympics, France introduced Olympics for the deaf people (Deaflympics) in 1924 with the idea of a French deaf car mechanic, Eugène Rubens-Alcais who paved the way to organise the inaugural edition of the Summer Deaflympics in Paris.[475]

Both the national football team and the national rugby union team are nicknamed "Les Bleus" in reference to the team's shirt colour as well as the national French tricolour flag. Football is the most popular sport in France, with over 1,800,000 registered players, and over 18,000 registered clubs.[476] The football team is among the most successful in the world, with two FIFA World Cup victories in 1998 and 2018,[477] one FIFA World Cup second place in 2006,[478] and two UEFA European Championships in 1984[479] and 2000.[480]

Zinedine Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in a 2004 UEFA poll.[481]

The top national football club competition is Ligue 1. France has produced some of the greatest players in the world, including three time FIFA World Player of the Year Zinedine Zidane, three time Ballon d'Or recipient Michel Platini, record holder for most goals scored at a World Cup Just Fontaine, first football player to receive the Légion d'honneur Raymond Kopa, and the record goalscorer for the French national team Thierry Henry.[482]

The French Open, also called Roland-Garros, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. It is the premier clay court tennis championship event in the world and the second of four annual Grand Slam tournaments.[483]

Rugby union is popular, particularly in Paris and the southwest of France.[484] The national rugby union team has competed at every Rugby World Cup, and takes part in the annual Six Nations Championship.

See also

Footnotes

  1. ^ For information about regional languages see Languages of France.
  2. ^ Established the Kingdom of the West Franks (the Kingdom of France) from the Carolingian Empire of Francia.
  3. ^ European Union since 1993.
  4. ^ Established the Fifth Republic
  5. ^ French National Geographic Institute data, which includes bodies of water.
  6. ^ French Land Register data, which exclude lakes, ponds and glaciers larger than 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) as well as the estuaries of rivers.
  7. ^ Whole of the French Republic except the overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean.
  8. ^ French overseas territories in the Pacific Ocean only.
  9. ^ Time zones across the French Republic span from UTC-10 (French Polynesia) to UTC+12 (Wallis and Futuna).
  10. ^ Daylight saving time is observed in metropolitan France and Saint Pierre and Miquelon only.
  11. ^ The overseas regions and collectivities form part of the French telephone numbering plan, but have their own country calling codes: Guadeloupe +590; Martinique +596; French Guiana +594, Réunion and Mayotte +262; Saint Pierre and Miquelon +508. The overseas territories are not part of the French telephone numbering plan; their country calling codes are: New Caledonia +687, French Polynesia +689; Wallis and Futuna +681
  12. ^ In addition to .fr, several other Internet TLDs are used in French overseas départements and territories: .re, .mq, .gp, .tf, .nc, .pf, .wf, .pm, .gf and .yt. France also uses .eu, shared with other members of the European Union. The .cat domain is used in Catalan-speaking territories.
  13. ^ French Guiana is located in South America; Guadeloupe and Martinique are in the Caribbean Sea; and Réunion and Mayotte are in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Africa. All five are considered integral parts of the French Republic. France also comprises Saint Pierre and Miquelon in North America; Saint Barthélemy and Saint Martin in the Caribbean; French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna and Clipperton Island in the Pacific Ocean; and finally the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
  14. ^ The last sacre was that of Charles X, 29 May 1825.

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